Blog Post

AFTRA and AMPTP Reach a Deal

The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) reached a tentative deal with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) early this morning in a move that will ease — but not eliminate — fears of an actors strike.

New media was a sticking point between AFTRA and the studios, and digital provisions of this deal are similar to those reached by the writers and directors guilds earlier this year. According to an AFTRA press release, the new pact includes:

  • Establishing jurisdiction over programs produced for distribution on the Internet and new media.
  • Establishing new residual structures for paid Internet downloads (electronic sell-through) that significantly increase current rates and establish residual rates for ad-supported streaming and use of clips on the Internet.
  • Preserving performers’ consent for non-promotional New Media use of excerpts of traditional TV shows.

The use of clips was a key issue for both AFTRA and the Screen Actors Guild. Studios wanted blanket use of clips for non-promotional purposes without an actor’s consent, the guilds wanted to require an actor’s permission for clip use. Variety reports that the agreement calls for both sides to “develop a mechanism” through which actors can authorize the use of clips from TV libraries. For shows produced after July 1, “companies can bargain for consent for the right to use clips at the time of original employment.”

The AFTRA deal now must be approved by its national board and ratified by its members. Next up at the negotiation table is SAG, which resumes talks today. With no resolution between SAG and the studios imminent, Hollywood has put a hold on greenlighting any new feature films as the guild’s current agreement expires on June 30th.