18 January 2008

Strike Watch: DGA Deal Almost Done, WGA Back To The Table

The Directors Guild of America has almost reached an agreement with the AMTP. Could this mean the Writers Guild are next and we'll finally see the end of this 3-month strike in a couple of week's time?
The Directors Guild of America said in a statement that its negotiators had reached preliminary agreement with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers on a new three-year contract, to take effect when the directors’ existing deal expires on June 30. The union, which represents about 13,500 directors and associated production workers, said its bargainers would submit the deal to its board with a recommendation for approval on Jan. 26. If approved, a member vote would follow.

The agreement achieves a breakthrough for union members in several digital areas. It roughly doubles the residuals rate that was paid for decades when films and television programs were resold on cassettes or DVDs. And it requires Hollywood studios and production companies — for the first time — to pay a residual when advertising-supported programs are streamed for free over the Internet, as many television networks do now on their Web sites. The residual kicks in after a 17-day time period, and is pegged at about $600 per episode of a one-hour network prime-time drama, for 26 weeks. That is a rate considerably higher than was last offered to writers when their negotiations with the producers fell apart in December.
--- Via New York Times

Ooh, this is good news for those waiting for their favorite shows to come back on air, this news just in: AMPTP Invites WGA back to the table.

Today, we invite the Writers Guild of America to engage with us in a series of informal discussions similar to the productive process that led us to a deal with the DGA to determine whether there is a reasonable basis for returning to formal bargaining. We look forward to these discussions, and to the day when our entire industry gets back to work.