Friday, July 18, 2008

SAG Formally Rejects AMPTP Contract Offer

Despite the "other" actor's union, AFTRA, agreeing to terms with producers, and the writers strike bringing Hollywood to a standstill earlier this year, SAG continues to believe that they deserve a better deal. True the landscape is changing in digital media, but that comment is trite, change is constant. Digital streaming remains a brand new medium and while companies are investing tons of money in it, no one is making tons of money yet. As we speak, companies are devising new ad monetization software to interface between the content stream and the user to provide relevant messages to segmented audiences. Testing continues on ad overlays, pre-rolls, ads popping in during dvr fast forwards, and other tricks to monetize the new medium.

And while dollar figures are being thrown around, the business is still very young and changing rapidly. SAG's approach should be to watch and learn; sign a short one year term deal so as to not be tied into a long term agreement that may be irrelevant in 2 years. What they should not do is even mention the word "strike" Hollywood learned that it cost them much more than they earned. The Emmy awards became all about cable as broadcast was burned by the strike; less content, less awards. There are only so many reality awards to go around.

So where are they now? It remains to be seen what happens next. I suppose it will remain business as usual in Hollywood. This fight has gone on too long already. Don't like the deal that AFTRA and the Writers Guild have agreed to, then make the term shorter and get back to work.