Studios' Latest Proposal: Devil In The Digital Details

Now we know why it took the Hollywood writers about 5 minutes to reject the studio’s latest proposal. The deal includes at least five non-starters for the union, including applying the “hated DVD formula” to downloads and no union jurisdiction over content made expressly for the Web.

The WGA released a list of some studio digital proposals it considers absurd:

  • $250 for year’s re-use of an hour-long show on the web (compared to TV rerun fee of $20,000)
  • Minimum “script fee” of $1300 for a 15-minute webisode of network-derived content
  • No union jurisdiction over content made expressly for the web
  • DVD residual rate for downloads (even though a download has almost no physical cost of production, whereas a DVD once did)
  • Studios can deem any re-use to be “promotional,” and thus pay no residual

The WGA estimates the studio-proposed deal would result in the writers getting a 3% annual raise over the next three years, while studio revenues are expected to grow 10%. “We are falling behind,” the WGA said, after rejecting the deal.

What would the deal cost Sony, Disney, Viacom, NBC Universal, and Time Warner? More after the jump.

The annual per-studio cost of the AMPTP-proposed deal, according to the WGA:

  • Sony: $1.68 million per year
  • Disney: $6.25 million
  • Paramount: $4.66 million
  • CBS: $4.66 million
  • Warner Bros.: $11.2 million
  • NBC U: $7.44 million
  • MGM: $320,000
  • Other, small studios combined: $8.3 milllion

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