Olympic Figure Skating And Music Licensing Explained 

By Peter C

The Olympics are a highly popular global sporting event where athletes showcase their skills and talent at the highest level. Figure skating is up there among the most stunning events at the Winter Olympics, where athletes perform intricate moves on the ice to music.

Source: @kirklai/Unsplash

However, a common question that arises is whether Olympic figure skaters are required to license the music they skate to.

The answer is yes, but it is the responsibility of the broadcaster, which in this case is NBC. Olympic routines are live performances, meaning a less expensive licensing agreement is needed compared to a synchronization license for TV shows or movies.

Many musicians and music publishers entrust the licensing power of their entire catalog to public rights organizations. This allows broadcasters, performance venues, and other music-playing establishments to purchase a blanket license that gives them public performance rights to every song covered by the PRO.

The fees for the blanket license are determined based on factors like audience size, frequency, and type of event. Licensees must keep track of their music use so that the PROs can calculate artist royalties. It’s important to note that if skaters use copyrighted music in their routines, they need to ensure that the broadcaster has obtained the appropriate license.

Source: lgnwvr/Unsplash

Therefore, skaters can focus on perfecting their routines without worrying about the legalities of licensing the music. The broadcaster is responsible for obtaining the license and ensuring that musicians and music publishers receive royalties for their work.