SAG Overwhelmingly Approves Contract

Our long, national nightmare is over — the actors have a contract! Was that too dramatic? Well, melodrama is fitting given how long it’s taken the Screen Actors Guild and the Hollywood studios to come to terms and sign a deal. Last night, SAG voted overwhelmingly to accept the most recent contract offered by the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, ending the almost year-long back-and-forth between the two.

Roughly 35 percent of the union’s 110,000 members cast ballots, with 78 percent voting yes. The new deal gives actors a 3 percent wage increase, with another 3.5 percent bump in a year. The new contract also covers material created for new media, which was a sticking point that helped kick off this whole drawn-out negotiation in the first place, and includes residuals for ad-supported movies and TV shows streamed online.

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SAG Board Approves New Contract (with New Media Details)

The board of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) narrowly approved a tentative new deal with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) today. The proposed contract now heads to the general membership for ratification. For all you NewTeeVee-readin’ folk, there are new provisions governing new media, which was a sticking point in the negotiations, which have dragged on for nearly 10 months. From a SAG statement, the proposed deal includes:

  • Jurisdiction on all derivative, made-for new media productions; automatic jurisdiction on all high-budget, original, made-for new media productions; plus jurisdiction on low budget original, new media productions that employee at least 1 covered performer.
  • Residuals for exhibition of TV and Theatrical motion pictures on consumer pay platforms (Electronic Sell Through) at a greater percentage than those paid for DVD distribution.
  • Residuals for ad-supported streaming of feature films and television programs.
  • Residuals for derivative new media programs.

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Vid-Biz: Blockbuster, 5min, WGA

Blockbuster Partners with Microsoft; two companies plan to use the “Live Mesh” software platform to distribute movies to mobile devices. (Dallas Morning News)

5min Launches Syndication Network; VideoSeed will match relevant how-to videos to keywords used on partner sites. (TechCrunch)

AMPTP Says It’s Making WGA New Media Payments; studios say online video residuals due to the writers are being paid or will be paid soon, slowdown happened because new payment systems had to be created. (The Hollywood Reporter)

Trouble with Rokus? Owners of the Netflix Player set-top box say video quality has taken a nosedive, Roku says problems are on Netflix’s end. (CNET)

Hulu Adds Recommendations; new tab will suggest other content you might like based on your viewing habits. (Hulu Blog)

Flight of the Conchords to Premiere on Funny or Die; season 2 of HBO’s comedy show to air online on Dec. 17th, weeks before it’s shown on the cable network (HBO owns a stake in FoD). (Aint It Cool News)

Vid-Biz: Sezmi, KickApps, SAG

Sezmi Secures $28 Million; influx of cash comes on the heels of the set-top box company laying off 20 percent of its staff. (peHUB)

KickApps Raises More than $13 Million
; white-label social networking site is working on Series C round. (peHUB)
SAG Seeks to Authorize Strike Vote; federally mediated talks between the actors’ union and the Hollywood studios broke down over the weekend. (Variety)
Sumner Redstone Under Pressure; tumbling share prices of Viacom and CBS hampering efforts to resolve debt issues of National Amusements, his family holding company. (Wall Street Journal)
MPAA Targets Fanedit.org; web community of hobbyists who make variations on movies will take down much of its site. (TorrentFreak)
Crackle Announces New Season; will debut Dec. 1 with renewals of shows like The Groundlings and new ones like Star-ving, the new comedy series from Married…with Children‘s David Faustino. (emailed release)
Eisner Might Want Prom Queen Movie; and he’s loving being an indie in the current media market. (New York Times)

New York Times Magazine Does Special on “Screens”
; including How Napoleon Dynamite Stumps Netflix’s recommendations, an essay on becoming “screen literate,” and pictures of kids playing video games. (New York Times Magazine)