Los Angeles (April 24, 2006) – Screen Actors Guild (SAG) announced today that it has reached a landmark agreement with Touchstone Television (a unit of the ABC Television Network) covering so-called “mobisodes” for the television series Lost. These negotiated terms demonstrate an important collaboration between artists and employers in their effort to lay the groundwork for future mobile content and other new technology agreements.
"This unique agreement represents a crucial first step into a new frontier of production and content distribution," Screen Actors Guild President Alan Rosenberg said. "Touchstone has made clear its commitment to revisit the contract terms as this new business develops. As a result, we have worked with them to ensure that actors are properly protected as we all embrace this emerging technology. We will continue to work with others in the industry in the development of new forms of entertainment, so that we can prosper together."
The agreement was reached after Screen Actors Guild insisted the proposed Lost mobisodes be produced under a SAG contract. Late last year, Guild officials met in Hawaii with cast members of the televised show, Lost, at which time the series performers lent their unqualified support to the union’s efforts.
Key points of the Screen Actors Guild agreement:
• The agreement covers the employment of actors for mobisodes of the series Lost that are no more than five minutes in length and are used on cell phones.
• Touchstone Television has agreed to negotiate terms for future mobisodes, as well.
• The new contract provides for an escalating minimum wage that begins at $425 for an eight-hour day as of April 1, 2006, moves to $450 as of April 1, 2007 and up to $759 on June 30, 2008.
• Actors will be paid the minimum per day or per mobisode—whichever is greater.
• Use on cell phones after 13 weeks triggers the following residual formula: An actor receives a $75 advance payment, which is creditable against a residual of 3.6% of the license fee for such use. If the mobisode is distributed via the Internet, the actor again receives a $75 advance and the same residual of 3.6% of the distributor’s share is payable if the viewer pays to access the mobisode; a 6% residual is payable if the Internet use is ad-supported. Use on ABC.com with neither of these revenue sources does not trigger a residual.
• Residuals for DVD use and broadcast of the mobisodes are based on the Guild’s television agreement. Relevant parts of that same agreement are incorporated into the deal, including pension and health contributions, working conditions, and legal arbitration provisions.
• These terms expire at the same time as SAG’s Television Agreement and Codified Basic Agreement on June 30, 2008.
The Writers Guild of America, West, also announced a similar agreement with Touchstone and ABC today. SAG Deputy National Executive Director for Contracts Sallie Weaver led the negotiations between Screen Actors Guild and Touchstone Television.