WGA to mull AMPTP offer; not optimistic

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Both sides have agreed to get back to negotiations tomorrow, after WGA has a few days to consider the offer made Thursday by the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers. The proposal would deliver more than 130 million in additional compensation to writers over three years. The WGA issued joint statement from WGA West president Patric Verrone and WGA East president Michael Winship calling the proposal as "a massive rollback."


WGA released some of the proposal’s details, mentioning their news blackout during negotiations has been lifted. Excerpts: “…for the first three days of this week, the companies presented in essence their 11/4 package with not an iota of movement on any of the issues that matter to writers. For streaming television episodes, the companies proposed a residual structure of a single fixed payment of less than 250 for a year’s reuse of an hour-long program (compared to over 20,000 payable for a network rerun). For theatrical product they are offering no residuals whatsoever for streaming.

For made-for-Internet material, they offered minimums that would allow a studio to produce up to a 15 minute episode of network-derived web content for a script fee of 1,300 dollars. They continued to refuse to grant jurisdiction over original content for the Internet.

In their new proposal, they made absolutely no move on the download formula (which they propose to pay at the DVD rate), and continue to assert that they can deem any reuse "promotional," and pay no residual (even if they replay the entire film or TV episode and even if they make money).
On Wednesday we presented a comprehensive economic justification for our proposals. Our entire package would cost this industry 151 million over three years. That’s a little over a 3% increase in writer earnings each year, while company revenues are projected to grow at a rate of 10%. We are falling behind.

For Sony, this entire deal would cost 1.68 million per year. For Disney 6.25 million. Paramount and CBS would each pay about 4.66 million, Warner about 11.2 million, Fox 6.04 million, and NBC/Universal 7.44 million. MGM would pay 320,000 and the entire universe of remaining companies would assume the remainder of about 8.3 million per year. As we’ve stated repeatedly, our proposals are more than reasonable and the companies have no excuse for denying it.
The AMPTP’s intractability is dispiriting news but it must also be motivating. Any movement on the part of these multinational conglomerates has been the result of the collective action of our membership, with the support of SAG, other unions, supportive politicians, and the general public. We must fight on, returning to the lines on Monday in force to make it clear that we will not back down, that we will not accept a bad deal, and that we are all in this together.”
If the sides don’t make serious progress this week, reportedly AMPTP may put it all on hold and start negotiations with the Directors Guild of America, whose  contract expires 6/30.

 


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Carl has been with RBR-TVBR since 1997 and is currently Managing Director/Senior Editor. Residing in Northern Virginia, he covers the business of broadcasting, advertising, programming, new media and engineering. He’s also done a great deal of interviews for the company and handles our ever-growing stable of bylined columnists.