MTV Networks Europe (MTVNE) and British rights collecting society Video Performance Limited (VPL) have brokered an arrangement over video licensing payments just minutes before their bargaining deadli

MTV Networks Europe (MTVNE) and British rights collecting society Video Performance Limited (VPL) have brokered an arrangement over video licensing payments just minutes before their bargaining deadline.

The two parties today (April 1) said they had agreed on the terms of a new contract that paves the way for videos from independent labels to continue to be shown on MTVNE's various channels. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

VPL and MTVNE were at odds over the amount of money the music channel wanted to pay for playing videos supplied by indie labels. MTVNE sought a reduction in the royalties paid to VPL, but talks between the parties had broken down. MTV then set March 31 as the deadline for indie labels to make direct deals.

Last week, the independents -- through British trade body AIM and its European sister organization Impala -- said they would not let the network play their repertoire after that date unless a deal was struck with VPL. At the initiative of MTVNE, both parties returned on March 24 to the negotiating table.

The new deal, says MTV in a statement, "ensures that a wide range of independent artists and labels will continue to enjoy the unique promotional benefits offered by MTV's unique network of music channels, which reach 117 million households across Europe."

A spokeswoman for MTVNE says the new deal with VPL does not restrict MTV from continuing to look for direct deals with independent labels.

"MTV Networks Europe is and always has been the home of independent music and artists," says MTVNE president/CEO Brent Hansen in a statement. "By signing this deal, we are making a firm statement of our unwavering commitment to indie artists and labels, and affirming their value and importance to us and our business."

"I am delighted that VPL has been able to facilitate a new collective agreement with MTV on behalf of the independent record companies, thus confirming a mutually successful partnership which goes back to MTV's launch in Europe," comments VPL chairman/CEO Fran Nevrkla.

"We are glad to see that MTV Europe, after some misunderstanding, has finally recognized the cultural and commercial value coming from the diversity of repertoire produced by more than 2000 European independent labels," says Michel Lambot, co-chairman of Belgium-based label/distribution group PIAS and president of Impala.