August 27, 2014
Television viewers may start seeing reruns of “Charlie’s Angels,” “Breaking Bad,” and other shows, thanks to new residual agreements between Hollywood movie studios and the Screen Actors Guild, the Writers Guild of America, and the Directors Guild of America. The new deal abandons fixed-fee residual payments and makes it more affordable for cable networks and digital channels to acquire reruns of shows. The new residual payments will be based on a percentage-structure.
The new deal, presented by the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, makes thousands of hours of programming available to cable networks and “diginets,” or digital broadcast subchannels. The residuals of older broadcast shows and newer cable shows are now more affordable than ever.
The residual payments will be based on a percentage of the rerun licensing deal, reports The New York Times. “Gilligan’s Island,” “The Love Boat,” “The Flying Nun” and “Sons of Anarchy” are just some of the series that have been released from “residual gridlock.”
The new system marks a major change for the industry. “When you add up all the extra money guilds and their members will make and the benefit to studios and to the acquiring networks, this is an important business breakthrough,” said John Weiser, president of U.S. distribution for Sony Pictures Television. “The guilds were open to it because they fully understand how the TV landscape is evolving.”
That evolution is reflected in the terms of the new deal, which includes the small diginets that serves the 10 percent of Americans who do not pay for cable or satellite TV. The diginets are subchannels of local TV channels, and they came about after the transition from analog to digital broadcasting.