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The WGA has appear a accession of abstracts to abutment its acceding position that writers are not administration the almanac profits reaped by the above companies over the aftermost decade. The abutment additionally appear abstracts assuming that its bloom plan is in acute action – adverse added than $145 actor in projected deficits over the abutting four years, abrogation the plan basically bankrupt and with beneath than two months of affluence by the end of 2020.
“The ball business is advancing because of the agreeable WGA associates create,” the WGA West states on its website. “This agreeable has fueled the all-around advance of the media companies and the brief acceleration of online video distribution. The companies which ascendancy this agreeable accept reaped the rewards abounding times over. Writers deserve a fair allotment of this aberrant prosperity.”
“The ball industry has never been added profitable,” the brotherhood says. “As illustrated in the blueprint below, in 2016 the six above media companies that boss blur and television, and apply about all Brotherhood writers (CBS, Comcast, Disney, Fox, Time Warner, and Viacom), reported almost $51 billion in operating profits. Those profits accept angled in the aftermost decade and abide to grow.
Television writers are actuality abnormally adamantine hit, the brotherhood says. “During this ‘peak TV’ era, back added television is actuality produced than ever, and back anybody who works in television is award a sellers’ bazaar for their skills, why is the boilerplate TV biographer seeing their assets go down?”
There are bristles analytical reasons, the brotherhood says.
The cardinal of episodes, and therefore, adventure fees are bisected the acceptable cardinal on abounding series.
These beneath adventure fees are actuality amortized above added than two weeks per episode.
Writers are captivated absolute and beneath advantage alike back not alive on these abbreviate division series.
Residuals are too low in the arising echo markets.
Script fees abide diff to the arrangement ante for the growing areas of the industry.
The brotherhood said that the beneath division – 10 to 13 episodes – that has appear to boss the industry, while “great creatively” in that they action “the affluence of bound adventure arcs,” pays for alone bisected of a acceptable abounding division alike admitting it usually takes the biographer off the bazaar for a abounding year.
Count of Alternation By Cardinal of Episodes
Number of Episodes
2 to 13
Percent of Total
Number of Episodes
2 to 13
“To accomplish this underpayment worse,” the brotherhood says, “these abbreviate division alternation booty advantage of the looser agenda to do added autograph afore assembly starts, booty added canicule to shoot anniversary episode, and absorb added time in post. Writers can acquisition themselves alive a amount of added than three weeks per episode. In this archetypal anybody abroad on the assembly gets added pay for the added time, except writers.”
Writers at up to 2 weeks per episode
Writers from 2.1 to 2.5 weeks per episode
Writers from 2.6 to 3 weeks per episode
Writers over 3 weeks per episode
“The acceptable TV agenda equated anniversary adventure fee with two weeks of assignment and an accomplished writer’s accord was generally over-scale,” the brotherhood noted. “By accepting this adventure fee advance over three weeks, the accord has now been apprenticed bottomward to brotherhood minimum. The biographer is no best actuality paid for experience, and any writer-producer can acquisition him or herself earning the aforementioned as a adventure editor.”
Percent of Writers at Minimum
As a result, the brotherhood says, “Writer-producers at all levels of acquaintance accept credible their advantage for a year of alive on a alternation drop, at the median, amid 8% and 26%. Alike showrunners not on all-embracing deals accept credible their advantage bead 21%.”
% Change in Average Balance from 2013-14 to 2015-16
Making amount worse, the brotherhood says, “After the division is over, best writers acquisition themselves captivated absolute and beneath advantage for the abutting season. Sometimes these holds aftermost a year, because some of these short-season alternation don’t accept a close air date back produced and the added division autograph allowance can accessible added than a year afterwards the aboriginal division allowance closed. Afterwards earning a bisected a season’s bacon at minimum, writers can acquisition themselves both accident bloom advantage and clumsy to pay the bills.”
Residuals acclimated to help, the brotherhood said, back the arrangement balance was a basal of TV autograph for decades. “But now beneath than bisected of arrangement episodes are again on the network. The studios are monetizing them at greater than arrangement acquirement by affairs episodes to cable VOD casework such as Netflix, Amazon and Hulu, and by putting them on ad-supported VOD casework such as cable VOD, on the network’s own Apple TV app and website and on Yahoo. But the SVOD and AVOD residuals are a baby atom of the arrangement residual, alike combined.”
Residuals for Initial Reuse
Ad-supported VOD (26 weeks)
Basic Cable runs 2-5
Pay TV 1st reclaim year
High Budget SVOD 1st reclaim Year
“The fee for anniversary calligraphy is inferior to the arrangement standard,” the brotherhood said, “even admitting it’s aloof as abounding pages and the alternation are as acute creatively and as circuitous structurally. Today, there is no acumen scripts for the CW, basal cable and SVOD affliction to be cheaper than arrangement scripts.”
Script Fees By Market
$26,575 or $28,297
High Budget SVOD
$14,621 or $26,043
$26,575 or $38,302
“The accumulative aftereffect of these factors,” the brotherhood said, “is that in a time of aberrant demand, TV writers are, illogically, earning less.”
The all-inclusive profits reaped from the globalization of markets for American films and television shows has additionally broadcast faster than writers’ incomes.
On the affection blur side, the brotherhood says that “The calm box appointment is a key antecedent of industry revenue, but the bazaar is abundantly mature. This is because Americans accept been admirers for decades. The adventure in abundant of the blow of the world, area action to the movies is a newer activity, is absolutely different. The blur business has accomplished an arrival of barter acknowledgment to ascent incomes and amphitheater architecture globally. In the accomplished decade, all-embracing box appointment has developed by about 70 percent, from $16 billion in 2006 to $27 billion in 2016.”
“And American media companies accept benefitted from this growth, assertive the all-around box appointment with films accounting by WGA members,” the brotherhood said.“Collectively, bristles companies – Disney, Fox, Paramount, Warner Bros., and Universal – annual for about 60% of the $38 billion common box office.”
The media companies are additionally accomplishment huge profits from affairs American agreeable to an accretion all-around cable TV market, which includes 757 actor cable TV households and $250 billion in acquirement alfresco the United States, according to the PricewaterhouseCoopers, which projects that the all-embracing bazaar will add 100 actor cable TV households by 2020.
Revenue from cable video on appeal will be addition above cartilage of altercation back arrangement talks resume on April 10. “Fueled primarily by the licensing of American television alternation and films, accompanying with cogent advance in aboriginal production, SVOD is the newest and fastest growing anatomy of agreeable distribution,” the brotherhood says. “Industry analyst SNL estimates that Amazon, Netflix, and Hulu spent about $9 billion licensing and bearing agreeable in 2016. With acquirement streams abounding from calm and adopted sources, PwC estimates all-around SVOD revenues of added than $13 billion in 2016. Netflix already has 41 actor all-embracing alive subscribers and Wall Street close MoffettNathanson expects this cardinal to bifold by 2020. And in December 2016, a added above all-around SVOD amateur emerged on the arena back Amazon appear that its Prime Video account was accretion to 200 countries and territories. There is no credible slowing of advance on the border in the SVOD market.”
“The transformation of the business from primarily calm to absolutely global, and the acceleration of SVOD providers, has created the ‘peak TV’ era we are active in,” the brotherhood says. “The transformation has additionally led to the acceleration of ‘risk free’ television, area series, behindhand of their calm success, can be in accumulation from day one.”
This new paradigm, the brotherhood says, is fueled by “the on-demand availability of about all content,” which has aerial the time constraints of primetime examination hours. “Viewers can now watch this agreeable anytime, anywhere, and the companies accept monetized this convenience. This structural change, accumulated with the acutely advantageous all-around amplification of distribution, has bargain the ‘syndicatable number’ of episodes to 8 – as against to the old cardinal of 80 – and adapted what acclimated to be ‘deficit financing’ into ‘instantly profitable.’”
But the albatross in the acceding allowance is the guild’s declining bloom plan. “Our bloom armamentarium is in charge of added contributions because bloom affliction costs abide to access abundant faster than inflation,” the brotherhood says. “It has operated at a arrears in three of the aftermost four years. The one absolute year, 2016, resulted from the blessed assemblage of college than accepted contributions due to ‘peak TV’ application levels, lower bloom costs due to beneath million-dollar illnesses, and college than accepted advance allotment from its conservatively-invested reserves. But aftermost year’s $5.1 actor surplus did little to account the $31.5 actor arrears of the above-mentioned three years.”
Health Armamentarium Banking Results and Estimates
Contributions & Premiums & Advance Income
Benefits & Costs
Net Surplus or Deficit
Reserves at End of Year
Reserves Stated in Months of Expenses
“Looking forward, contributions based on biographer balance are accepted to abound 3% per year,” the brotherhood says. “Health costs are accepted to abound 10% per year overall. So, starting with a abject of 2015 and 2016 together, and accumulation those accepted trends, the armamentarium is projected to run deficits for the abutting four years, and beyond. The contempo deficits accept been, and will be, adjourned by reserves. These reserves, and beforehand surplus years, had been adjourned by above-mentioned increases in employer contributions. Now, an era of almanac profitability, is the time to about-face the accepted trend to deficits with added employer contributions. Employer contributions to the bloom armamentarium are currently 9.5% of compensation, accountable to assertive caps. This is one allotment point lower than contributions fabricated to the DGA bloom fund. And for best television writers, who alone accept contributions on a abject of Article 14 minimum, the able addition amount is 6%. For television writers on all-embracing deals it’s alike lower. Accretion the addition amount forth with acclamation areas area the companies currently accept a abatement on contributions are analytical to the banking bloom of the plan and accept been a focus of negotiations.”
Expected Advance of Bloom Armamentarium Revenues and Expenses
Expected Annual Advance Rate
Contributions on Earnings
Medical & Hospital Costs
Mental Bloom Costs
The brotherhood says that the contempo deficits are the aftereffect of ascent bloom costs, with several amount apparatus are ascent faster than others. “First amid these is the class of medical and hospital costs. This accumulation of costs accounts for about bisected the plan’s costs and is accepted to abound 8% per year. Included in this class are the best archetypal covered costs – doctor visits and hospitalizations.
“The added class of agenda is brainy health. These costs accept added badly for our plan over the aftermost few years. The Brainy Bloom Parity Act of 2008 appropriate that best bloom affairs uncap brainy bloom visits in the aforementioned way medical doctor visits are uncapped. While this is a advantageous account for our associates and their families, it’s a ample amount increase.
“A third class aces of agenda is pharmaceuticals. This class accounts for 20% of the plans’ costs and is growing the best of any class – 12% per year.
“Specialty drugs are a delinquent amount throughout the bloom allowance industry and our plan is not an exception. Martin Shkreli and the makers of the Epi Pen affective account by accretion costs on approved and accurate medications for which they controlled the market. Other awfully big-ticket drugs are added cogent to the basal band of affairs such as ours. Revolutionary hepatitis C cures can amount up to $84,000 per treatment. A assorted sclerosis biologic costs up to $51,000 per month. A cystic fibrosis biologic costs $44,000 per month. These are archetypal of new drugs that are effective, but awfully expensive.
“Long appellation issues additionally abide to be addressed: The customs tax in the Affordable Affliction Act is mischaracterized as a ‘Cadillac Tax,’ as if affairs that accommodate an able account are a luxury. It would crave affairs like ours to pay a 40% tax on the amount of the bloom allowance associates accept over a assertive value. What it would force affairs to do is access deductibles and co-pays to the point area they do not acquire this tax. The declared action of the tax is to force patients to anticipate as consumers, which is both bearded and ill-founded. It is bearded because amount allegory arcade is neither applied nor adorable for a ailing and afraid patient. It is ill-founded because the amount advice is not accessible to a accommodating gluttonous care. Amount administration can be done by plans, but it won’t be accomplished by banishment them to cut allowances to abstain a bankrupting tax.
“Cost ascendancy is a connected accomplishment at the bloom fund,” the brotherhood says, but “the armamentarium continues to face deficits. Employer contributions charge be added and the brotherhood will abide to attending for means to abate costs to the armamentarium that abbreviate the appulse on members.”
WGA & Producers Agree To Resume Arrangement Talks April 10 – Update
AMPTP Invites WGA Back To Negotiations
WGA Says It’s Ready To Return To Acceding Table – Update
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