A TV Week Q-&-A published today shows Nick Counter, president of the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers, is still breathing fire. He calls the WGA demands “so over-the-top and unreasonable”. Here’s what I found interesting:
TVWeek: How do things change for you once they have the power to call a strike at any time?
Counter: From a negotiating standpoint, we’ll continue to negotiate until we reach an agreement irrespective of whether they strike. I told them this morning: They can strike for six months or 12 months or 24 months; at some point we have to reach an agreement. There are no divorces in our industry. It’s just a question of when and how much damage is caused.
TVWeek: Networks and studios say there’s no online business model yet upon which to base a new media deal. But the WGA points to companies like NBC, telling investors that it is projecting increases based on online growth. Are the employers talking out of both sides of their mouth on this?
Counter: Not really. Your first statement is correct. The key leaders, executive producers of television shows, that are members of the guild, they understand. We actually have a mutual goal to develop a marketplace that’s viable, but nobody knows the contours of that industry.
TVWeek: But do statements to investors predicting growth contradict that?
Counter: No. At some point there clearly will be growth. There’s no question there’s an audience and potential market there; the question is how to develop the business models.