Writers, producers differ over Web show revenue

first_imgNearly everyone agrees the Internet will change the way TV shows are delivered. But striking Hollywood writers and the nation’s media conglomerates are having a hard time seeing eye to eye on how to share revenue generated when shows are streamed on the Web. It’s the most contentious financial issue in the 10-day walkout that has stopped production on more than a dozen prime-time programs. In full-page newspaper ads Thursday, the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers said it’s offering writers a share of licensing fees paid by Web sites to offer shows. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREStriving toward a more perfect me: Doug McIntyre However, the payments wouldn’t begin until six weeks after a show goes online, according to the Writers Guild of America. The union has rejected the offer, saying viewer interest would be nearly exhausted by then. “They would throw us a fraction of the bone of whatever’s left,” the guild said in a prepared statement. Writers also want a cut of revenue from nonskippable ads contained in many shows that are streamed free online. The alliance slammed the door on that demand. “There is no way that this change can be deemed reasonable,” the group’s newspaper ads said. “No labor agreement in history has given writers, actors or directors a portion of advertising dollars.” Writers are convinced that ad-supported streaming will someday become a huge moneymaker for networks. “We’re not saying you owe us thousands of dollars right this minute,” said Ron Moore, a writer-producer for the Sci-Fi Channel show “Battlestar Gallactica.” “This is the moment you make the deal for the future,” he said. Revenue from the ads is expected to grow from $250million this year to $1.7billion by 2010, according to Forrester Research. Advertisers now pay between 40percent and 60percent more for online ads than they do for TV commercials because Web audiences tend to be younger, male and affluent – a sweet spot for advertisers. But with relatively few viewers, the Internet rakes in just a tiny fraction of the $70billion in advertising collected by broadcast television, Forrester analyst James McQuivey said.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

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