In 2006 Equity published “The Future of Television Agreements” (also known as “the blue book”), a major piece of research into the likely impact of new technology on broadcasting and the effects on our members.
Since the publication of the blue book, Equity has been negotiating with employers to ensure that our members are getting a fair deal out of the exploitation of their work using these new technologies and new media platforms.
These talks have taken two forms. At one level Equity has been negotiating with individual producers and broadcasters to put in place deals that bring existing agreements up-to-date and that establish the principle that our members should receive payments when their work is exploited on new formats. A number of these deals are set out in the table below.
Equity has used these short-term and interim deals to experiment with what methods of payment are most appropriate in specific services, which systems work and which do not, which are easy to administer and which are complex. The union has learned a great deal that we can exploit in future negotiations.
But Equity has a second, more ambitious strategy.
We are holding discussions across the television industry in an attempt to develop a single agreement that builds on the best of our existing deals, and which explicitly addresses rapidly changing technologies, shifts in audience expectations and the way in which the industry might respond to this new environment.
We want an agreement that is fit not just for the demands of today’s industry, but capable of adapting to the needs of tomorrow.
Equity is leading the way, bringing together the major commissioning bodies and producers - BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Five and PACT but also bringing in agents and performers to discuss how we can develop a long-term replacement for the current mix of different deals.