Friday, December 21, 2007

Writers making Deals with the Web

Worldwide Biggies, a start up internet site devoted to online video, and started by a former MTV/Viacom exec Albie Hecht, smells opportunity from this writers strike. His company has just announced that they have signed three writers to produce a new web series titled "The Void", and obviously has offered them revenue sharing from this new media venture. "Observers have speculated that the striking talent could move to the Web in the case of a prolonged strike. This week, former News Corp. executive Ross Levinsohn expressed interest in funding the writers through Velocity Interactive Group, a new-media funding company he founded along with former AOL CEO Jonathan Miller and partners from the now-defunct venture capital group ComVentures."

NBC, with nothing to offer their viewers but reruns, reality, and news, has signed a deal to bring a series, Quarterlife, to the network. FYI, this was a show originally rejected by the networks. When you are scrambling for content, I imagine anything will do.

Jack Myers recently wrote that the advertiser community should consider getting involved in settling this strike by offering a tax to support the writers share. The issue remains how much will it take and how many groups will want a piece of that share - WGA, SAG, DGA, etc. Still an interesting idea. The advertising community are also feeling the heat of this strike, especially when NBC and the CW are returning ad dollars instead of make goods. They are involved and should be pushing both parties to re-enter negotiations and find a settlement.