The old TV animation contracts expired on June 30, but were extended until July 30. SAG-AFTRA members voted by an overwhelming majority – 87.68% to 12.32% – in favour of ratifying a new TV animation contract covering network, cable and streaming broadcasts. The new agreement also includes an animation-specific gain in payments for “interstitial bits” – animated programs with a duration of less than two minutes. “This is a strong, forward-looking agreement with significant gains for our members,” said Gabrielle Carteris, President of SAG-AFTRA. “It applies economies of scale to more productions, lowers budget thresholds for half-hour DRR programs, and provides additional funding for the use of interstitial programs in new media.” SAG-AFTRA`s Board of Directors unanimously approved the union`s new animation television agreements, which are now being sent to members for ratification with a recommended “yes”. The new three-year pact, retroactive to July 1, includes animated programs produced for television, including network, basic cable and streaming platforms like Hulu and Amazon Prime. The deal was reached earlier this month with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers. In addition to including the gains made in its new live action agreements, the union said the new animation contract also involves a significant animation-specific breakthrough in the requirement to pay for animated programs for new media. Today, animated programs designed for subscription-based streaming services that are not considered “high-budget” — because they don`t reach the required minimum duration of 20 minutes or don`t reach the new $500,000 budget threshold — still have to pay if they last at least 11 minutes and have a budget of at least $25,000 per minute. This means that 11-minute animated programs created for subscription streaming services — a standard length for some shows — have to be paid for with a budget of just $275,000.
The new agreement also involves changes to broadcast syndication residuals, from a fixed residue to a residue based on turnover at 6% of the distributor`s gross revenues – the same formula that applies to content that switches to basic cable. SAG-AFTRA said the new formula was the most significant concession it has made to pave the way for an increase in the number of streaming residents – a trade-off that is said to allow synchronous animation spokespeople to increase their residencies in the fastest growing area of their work, while increasing the possibilities of animated programs, to be exposed to radio syndication. This is a declining market. .