The news abounds that Conan O'Brien ran up the bill at NBC on his last week with extravagant skits and song choices. On his closing night the house band played about 22 seconds of "Lovely Rita," a song written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney and owned by Sony/ATV Music Publishing. The question everyone has been flirting with is just how much did NBC pay to clear the song. For the "public performance" of the song, NBC's blanket license with BMI would cover the payment. Because Conan is taped "live," no synchronization fee is due for the first performance of the song in connection with the specific usage. If NBC never planned any distribution or broadcast beyond the first performance, there would not be any sync fee. Clearly NBC does plan to show re-runs or have the right to put the show up on their website. These uses require a license from Sony/ATV Music Publishing.
One rumor was that the 22 seconds cost NBC $500,000. A representative from Sony denied the fee was that large and stated Sony/ATV has pre-negotiated fee arrangement with NBC for last minute song usage. Being a Lennon/McCartney song does increase the price tag. If I was a betting girl, I would say this use was under $10,000 for rights in perpetuity, for the world, all media, excluding theatrical rights.