The Directors Guild of America and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers have agreed on a successor deal to the DGA master contract.
The tentative agreement, announced Thursday evening, came after four weeks of talks that opened on Feb. 10. with both sides agreeing to a news blackout until the negotiations concluded.
“Details of the tentative agreement will be released after the agreement has been submitted to the Guild’s National Board for approval at a special board meeting scheduled for Saturday, March 7, 2020,” the DGA said.
The DGA’s current contract with the AMPTP expires on June 30. Jon Avnet and Todd Holland were appointed co-chairs of the negotiations committee a year ago. DGA National Executive Director Russell Hollander served as chief negotiator for the guild.
The current deal covers more than 18,000 DGA members. DGA members ratified the current pact in early 2017 with a major gain in residuals on programs made for High Budget Subscription Video on Demand (SVOD) — covering such services as Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu. It also included wage increases of 2.5% in the first year of the agreement and 3% in the second and third years.
Avnet and Holland sent a message to members on Feb. 4, acknowledging that negotiations would be starting closer to the expiration and asserting the reason for doing so stems from the emergence of new streaming services.
“We are in the midst of a complicated, rapidly changing and evolving industry with studios continuing to consolidate and become increasingly vertically integrated, and new streaming services like Disney+, Apple TV+, HBO Max and Peacock coming online,” the duo said. “With this new landscape are complex issues to confront – and so it should come as no surprise that going through our process has been a lengthier undertaking than in previous years.”
The DGA also negotiated a separate three-year deal with Netflix in 2017 that will expire this year. Other than acknowledging that it has a deal with the streaming giant, the DGA has not disclosed the terms of that agreement.
The DGA has negotiated its deal prior to the Writers Guild of America and SAG-AFTRA during the past two negotiating cycles. The WGA leadership asked its members last month to approve a bargaining demand requiring AMPTP companies to agree to the WGA’s ban on agencies taking packaging fees and engaging in affiliate production.
The AMPTP will likely propose that the WGA and SAG-AFTRA accept terms and conditions similar to those in the DGA deal.
The WGA master contract expires on May 1. SAG-AFTRA’s deal expires on June 30. Negotiations on successor deals for those contracts have not been set yet.