Reportage at Deadline Hollywood, The Hollywood Reporter, and Variety.
It's another joke offer. Let's crunch the numbers:
The studios are offering a fee of $250 to put a TV show on the Internet for a year. And that's after six weeks "promotional" use, during which they would still sell ads in the show, paying nothing at all.
(To put this into context: a cinema release loses 46% of its audience from the first week of release to the second week of release. The value of a narrative repeat drops very quickly indeed after the initial showing.)
The studios currently pay $21,078 to the writer for the first repeat on one of the big networks.
source - PDF
So, if the network streams a show on the Internet instead of repeating it, they save over $20,000 in payments to the writer.
This figure becomes even larger every time they drop another repeat off network TV because people can see it on the Internet instead.
Let's just look at that again.
If we accept this deal, we lose money.
All this before we even look at the other things the AMPTP are so generously offering us. Like, for example:
- No residuals for showing a cinema film on the Internet
- WGA not to ever get involved in any negotiations on made-for-Internet content
Now, I'm sure that this is just another negotiating tactic. Here is our ridiculous offer, what's that, you don't accept it? You bad bad people. Here is our slightly less ridiculous offer. And so on, and so on, kicking and screaming all the way until finally they agree with bad grace to something we can all live with.
But you know what, AMPTP?
Putting a ridiculous offer that we can in no way accept on the table does not make you look like a smart negotiator.
It makes you look like an asshat.
Please come back with something serious on Tuesday.