19 December 2011
Posted in TV
The Writers’ Guild has agreed an increase of 2% in minimum fees for drama and comedy writers, in line with pay rises for BBC staff. This brings the flagship minimum fee for a 60-minute original drama to £10,680 – although many established and in-demand writers will earn much higher amounts. The minimum rates for series, soaps and other genres all go up by the same percentage. The new rates cover all contracts from 1 November 2011 - download a full list of minimum rates (pdf).
The Guild, along with the agents’ trade body the Personal Managers’ Association has now concluded all substantive negotiations on a new suite of agreements that will introduce a new system of paying writers for the use of their work on the iPlayer and other online on-demand services including the planned BBC online archive. The deal also expands the coverage of the agreements to scripts shorter than 15 minutes, including comedy sketches, material commissioned for online use only, and some material for animations and documentaries. We expect to make a major announcement about the new agreements early in the New Year.
The negotiations and increased fees come against a background of yet more BBC cuts under the slogan 'Delivering Quality First'. The latest plans identify 'Ambitious original British drama and comedy' among the 'five pillars of the BBC’s future strategy' and the Guild intends to monitor commissions and output closely to ensure this pledge is honoured.