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Cue Sheet Information
Advice on royalty free music, cue sheets, broadcasting and more...

Q - When do I need a cue sheet?
A - When your production is broadcast on television, film, or radio.

Q - What do I do with it?
A - Fill it in,and submit this to the broadcaster (TV or Radio station) and your local Performing Rights Society (
links/resources page at the site map).

Q - What does it cost me?
A - Nothing!

Q - Do I need to do this?
A - Yes - it's a legal requirement. Read our Copyright Advice page for more information (site map)

Q - Why do I have to fill out a cue sheet?
A - Cue Sheets mean that each composer can get his/her "performance royalties" from money already paid by the broadcasting company for each minute of music they broadcast. A broadcaster always pays a fee for every second of music they use in their broadcasts. It doesn't matter where that music was obtained, whether the music is royalty free music or not, or whether cue sheets are filled in or not - there are no exceptions, they still pay a fee. If cue sheets are filled in and filed correctly, the composer (eventually) gets his share of this - if cue sheets are not properly filled in, the fees are the same, but the money never reaches the composer. Instead the money goes into a 'pool' which is largely divided up amongst the most-performed artists such as the Beatles, Eminem, Sting etc. No money is saved by not filling in cue sheets.

If you are not making a film or a production to be broadcast on TV/Radio you do not need a cue sheet.

With the increase in independent producers and satelite/cable operations, the filing of accurate cue sheets has become even more crucial to tracking the use of music in film and television productions. These newcomers to the industry are sometimes unfamiliar with, or unaware of, the legal and professional responsibilities involved in using the music of composers and publishers whose rights are represented by a Performing Rights Society (links/resources page at the site map)

Keeping track of all the music used in films and on television shows is a formidable task, made feasible only by the use of cue sheets. Cue sheets are the primary means by which performing rights organizations track the use of music in films and TV. Without cue sheets, it would be nearly impossible for composers and publishers to be compensated for their work.

An accurately filled out cue sheet is a log of all the music used in a production. This information includes:

  • Series/Film Title
  • Series/Film Title AKA
  • Episode Title
  • Episode Title AKA
  • Episode Number
  • Air Date
  • Show Length
  • Music Length
  • Production Company Information
  • Song/Cue Title
  • Composer
  • Publisher
  • Performing rights society
  • Timing
  • Usage

If there is more than one composer for an individual piece of music, or if the writer and publisher split their royalties on other than a 50/50 basis, this must also be indicated on the cue sheet.

Compile the relevant track information as shown below, and submit this to the broadcaster (TV Station), preferably also to your local Performing Rights Society (links/resources page at the site map)

There is a blank cue sheet you can fill out and use - click here, then use the print button on your browser


Series/Film Name: The Big Show Series/Film AKA: Big Show
Episode Name: Lets Go Episode AKA: Go
Prod. #:

TBS 15

Episode #: 15 Show Duration: 15:00
Original Airdate: March 15, 2001 Total Music Length: 01:07
Production Co./Contact Name: Making Programmes Inc.
Ms. P. Roducer
1234 Music Square
Capital City, CA 12345-1245

BI: Background Instrumental VI: Visual Instrumental EE: Logo
BV: Background Vocal VV: Visual Vocal
TO: Theme Open TC: Theme Close

Cue # Title % Society Usage Timing

001 The Big Show Opening Theme     TO :32
  W Jo Music 50% PRS(uk)    
  W Bill Wordy 50% ASCAP    
  P My Publishing Co. 50% PRS(uk)    
  P Jo Music 50% ASCAP    
002 Big Show Closing Theme     TC :35
  W Jo Music 50% PRS(uk)    
  W Bill Wordy 25% ASCAP    
  W Fred Writer 25% SESAC    
  P My Publishing Co. 50% PRS(uk)    
  P Jo Music 25% ASCAP    
  P Fred's Music 25% SESAC    

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