New residuals deal covers reruns and SVOD


Screen Producers Australia and the Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance have reached agreement on a new deal that will give more flexibility to replay Australian programs and give performers new pay loadings for SVOD and catch-up playouts, such as iview.

The Actors Television Repeats and Residuals Agreement covers TV plays and repeats, streaming rights, percentage of sales in Australia and overseas, and allows a performer’s pay to be calculated.

Previous ATRRA agreements placed restrictions on the number of times an Australian program could be played or streamed.

Almost no adult Australian TV drama programs have been re-licensed to television after the initial license period has expired due to the length of the license period eroding value in the program and because the repeat fees payable to performers under the old ATRRA were far greater than the market could afford to pay.

The immediate pay-off for performers will include a new 10% loading on top of their basic negotiated fee whenever their work is played on free streaming services like iView, and a 70% loading for the premiere release of their work on subscription video on demand platforms such as Netflix and Presto, bringing internet TV into line with broadcast TV.

For the first time, performers will also be paid for appearing in web productions with a 57.5% upfront loading and a 10% share of any revenue generated.

Screen Producers Australia CEO Matthew Deaner said, “This is a groundbreaking agreement that will unlock the potential that digital technology offers for the benefit of the Australian production industry, Australian broadcasters, and to the Australian viewer.

“The impetus for change is that technology has transformed the available content distribution platforms and audience behaviour while the original agreement itself has remained substantially unchanged since 1982.

“We approached negotiations with the view that there should be something in it for each of the major stakeholders. Performers clearly needed increased fees for increased rights. Networks and investors needed greater flexibility to stream and play programs across multiple platforms to drive up audiences for Australian programs and increase recoupment from their considerable investment. Producers needed the opportunity to derive greater value from their intellectual property by opening up the possibility that programs could be re-licensed” said Deaner.

“This agreement will bring the rights and residuals of Australian performers into the 21st century, said Equity director Zoe Angus.

“The agreement that Australian performers have resoundingly endorsed is a ground-breaking reimagining of how the rights in your performance are valued in a digital age. We are now at the forefront of recognising and embracing technological innovation and what that means for content creators. This is a momentous day for our industry.

“When it was last negotiated back in 2004 TV was still king. There was no iview, no Presto, no Australian Netflix. It’s easy to forget how quickly and drastically things have changed. Performers’ work is now consumed anywhere, at any time and on any device. I am extremely proud that our membership has given us a clear mandate to bring their rights and residuals into the 21st century.”

The new ATRRA agreement becomes effective from today.



  1. Hopefully some of the many thousands of hours of classic Australian drama series that still reside in the ABC vaults going back 50 years will finally get telecast again? The previous rather restrictive Actors Equity agreements made it easier and cheaper to run ancient UK/US series like Birds Of A Feather, The Bill and Murder, She Wrote instead.

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