WGA rejects offer from Hollywood producers

MUMBAI: The standoff between Hollywood studios and the Writers Guild of America (WGA) continues.

The producers offered a new set of proposed pay formulas for digital media. This, however, has been rejected by the WGA.

The AMPTP had unveiled a New Economic Partnership to the WGA, which included groundbreaking moves in several areas of new media, including streaming, content made for new media and programming delivered over digital broadcast channels.

The entire value of the new economic partnership would deliver more than $130 million in additional compensation above and beyond the more than $1.3 billion writers already receive each year.

"We continue to believe that there is common ground to be found between the two sides, and that our proposal for a New Economic Partnership offers the best chance to find it.

"Revenues obtained in the initial market of release no longer cover the costs of production, much less distribution and marketing. There is no such thing as supplemental or ancillary or secondary market any longer and hasn’t been for years. All windows and media are needed for the vast majority of productions just to recoup initial costs, much less break even or make a profit." says AMPTP.

The WGA dismissed the studios‘ proposal as mere hype. "It amounts to a massive rollback. 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.

"We had 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 thre per cent increase in writer earnings each year, while company revenues are projected to grow at a rate of 10 per cent. 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," the WGA said.

The two sides plan to return to the bargaining table on Tuesday.

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