A new local cable access group has taken over from Comcast in a community just next to Boston. It is running a music feed behind a Community Bulletin Board. Do not think they are paying rights to ASCAP/BMI. Are they in violation?
All the TV stations, cable entities that I ever worked for or with always had yearly deals with ASCAP/BMI that allowed them to play a certain length of popular songs during news, public service and some other original programming.
As I recall, the one ABC affiliate I worked with paid something like $3000/year for those rights. If you multiply all the local affiliates, UPN, low-power, local cable outlests etc. by that number, it would add up to a pretty healthy sum of money.