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Intermediary Copyright Royalty Services Works With American Public Television to Help Producers Claim Their Portion of Government-Collected Royalties

Royalties for public television programs often not claimed, leaving monies undistributed.
More than $200 million exists in the royalty pool.

WASHINGTON, D.C. / BOSTON – Intermediary Copyright Royalty Services (Intermediary) and American Public Television (APT) announced that they are launching a joint effort designed to help producers of public television programming receive the full amount of their portion of government-collected retransmission royalties.

According to Intermediary founder Ted Hammerman, there is a total of over $200 million held in the royalty pool managed by the U.S. Copyright Office. Hammerman says that approximately $14.6 million, or roughly 7.3 percent of the total, is owed to public television program producers. These royalties come from cable royalty pools. Last year, more than 1,000 organizations filed claims to collect television retransmission royalties.

“APT’s goal is to help our producers retrieve all revenue to which their programming is entitled,” said David Fournier, APT's vice president of finance and administration. “We look forward to connecting these clients with Intermediary to successfully claim and collect the royalties they are due.”

Hammerman said: “These pools are rarely fully claimed. Copyright holders rarely discuss filing royalty claims annually for their programming because the more parties who file claims, the less each claimant receives.” Intermediary and APT have agreed to advise public television producers of these royalties and will assist them in claiming and collecting their royalties.

“Most public television content is initially broadcast on free-to-air TV. Some programs are then retransmitted over cable. When that occurs, this content is eligible for royalties in the U.S. Fees may also be due from collectives internationally,” said Hammerman. “By working with APT, we hope to assist as many of their producers as possible.” A recognized leader in this niche of copyright law, Intermediary claims, tracks and distributes royalties for clients.

Under the Copyright Act, federal law mandates payment of retransmission royalties. These compulsory payments made by cable operators are submitted to the Licensing Division of the U.S. Copyright Office semiannually. Cable operators are required to pay pennies so that each system’s distant-signal subscribers may receive broadcast programming. Based on the number of U.S. pay-TV subscribers, these pennies “add up to millions of dollars,” added Hammerman. In the U.S., claims must be filed each July for the prior year’s programming. Initial royalty distributions can take more than four years to process from the filing date. However, royalties can only be collected via the filing of claims.

About APT:
American Public Television (APT) is the leading syndicator of high-quality, top-rated programming to the nation’s public television stations. APT distributes one-fourth of the top 100 highest-rated public television titles in the U.S. Founded in 1961, among its 250 new program titles per year, APT programs include prominent documentaries, performance, news and current affairs programs, dramas, how-to programs, children’s series and classic movies. America’s Test Kitchen From Cook’s Illustrated, Cook’s Country, AfroPoP, Rick Steves’ Europe, Chris Kimball’s Milk Street Television, Front and Center, Doc Martin, Nightly Business Report, Midsomer Murders, A Place to Call Home, Lidia’s Kitchen, Globe Trekker, New Orleans Cooking with Kevin Belton, Simply Ming, and P. Allen Smith’s Garden Home are a sampling of APT’s programs, considered some of the most popular on public television. APT licenses programs internationally through its APT Worldwide service. Now in its 13th year, Create®TV — featuring the best of public television's lifestyle programming — is distributed by American Public Television. APT also distributes WORLD™, public television’s premier news, science and documentary channel. To find out more about APT’s programs and services, visit

About Intermediary:
Founded in 2002 in Washington, DC, Intermediary represents more cultural programming interests in copyright proceedings than any other entity worldwide. The firm serves as copyright holders’ advocate to assert claims, enforce rights and recover royalties due and payable to rights holders.

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Randi Lee
American Public Television
p: 617-338-4455 x. 155

Ted Hammerman
p: 202-686-2887

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