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Studios Reiterate ‘Final’ Offer to Actors

8 Dec, 2008 By: Erik Gruenwedel

The trade association representing studios and television producers repeated their final contract offer to actors (originally presented June 30), which it said provided more gains than any other labor agreement in the Screen Actors Guild’s (SAG) history.

SAG, which is trying to muster membership support for a strike, is slated to hold an informal townhall meeting Dec. 8.

In addition to increased minimums, pension and health-care provisions, the new contract presented by the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) offers jurisdiction on new media programs, in addition to first-ever residuals on ad-supported streams of movies, TV shows, permanent downloads (burn to disc), original and derivative new-media programs.

Specifically, movie download residuals would increase from 5.4% of 20% of the distributor’s gross (considered the home video rate) on the first 50,000 units to 9.75% of 20% thereafter. For TV downloads, residuals would increase from the home video rate to 10.5% of 20% of distributor’s gross after the first 100,000 units.

SAG officials have long wanted to renegotiate the home video rate, implemented in 1988, which the studios have refused to address.

Ad-supported movie streaming residuals would receive 3.6% of distributor’s gross, and ad-supported TV streaming residuals would receive 6% of distributor’s gross, if produced before July 1, 2008, and after the first year of initial theatrical exhibition.

New programming streamed within the first year of exhibition is subject to 17- or 24-day windows with a 3% fixed residual base.

Residual payments for original and derivative content made for new media would receive 3.6% of distributor’s gross on pay platforms and 6% of distributor’s gross on ad-supported platforms.

The AMPTP said the contract proposal was “the most lucrative deal” in the history of actor/producer collective bargaining.

“We are confident [SAG] will conclude that the offer is not only fair but generous, and is the best deal achievable — with or without a strike,” the AMPTP said in a statement.

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