AMPTP Details Final Contract Offer to SAG

The trade group for Hollywood's producers has published the details of its final offer to the Screen Actors Guild in an effort to convince performers that its contract proposal does not justify a "debilitating strike in the middle of a historic national economic crisis."

According to the statement posted at the Web site of the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, the June 30 offer is the richest ever for actors by historical standards and above the 2005 TV/theatrical deal that SAG once described as "the most lucrative deal in the history of actor/producer collective bargaining."

"All of the emerging platforms are addressed, with most residuals based on a percentage of distributor's gross that is at or above the ‘pay TV’ rate favored by the guilds and unions. Members would get their first-ever residuals for ad-supported streaming, made-for new media programs and a near doubling of the home video rate for permanent downloads.

In addition, SAG would for the first time be granted jurisdiction for programs made for new media, including low budget original programs that employ a single professional actor," according to the AMPTP.

"We urge SAG members to take a realistic look at the terms of the producers' final offer in light of the embryonic state of the new media market. When they do, we are confident they will conclude that the offer is not only fair but generous, and is the best deal achievable—with or without a strike," the AMPTP statement concluded.

SAG called for a strike authorization vote after a federal mediator on Nov. 28 was unable to break the contract stalemate between the AMPTP and the actors' union.

Meanwhile, at its Web site, SAG is running a slide show noting that studio heads are both telling negotiators that new media is the future, while telling analysts and journalists that the future is happening now. The union repeats quotes from Fox chairman and CEO Peter Chernin, who has said he views the site Hulu as a replacement for broadcast reruns, and from Sean Carey, senior executive vice president of Sony Pictures Television, who described the Web site Crackle as a TV network that just happens to be on the Internet. 

"Sometimes you can believe what they say," concludes the slide show.