Writers receive 10% pay rise and increased residuals as BBC agreement gets major update

BBC image (2)Writers commissioned by the BBC and BBC Studios will receive a significant increase on minimum fees and compensation for the commercial exploitation of their work across a number of new platforms, following the renegotiation of the BBC Script Agreement for Television and Online.

The agreement was originally negotiated by WGGB and the Personal Managers’ Association (representing writers’ agents) in 2017.

The newly renegotiated agreement establishes a 10% rise in minimum fees, seeing the minimum rate for a 60-minute teleplay increase from £12,780 to £14,040. Series minimum rates will rise to £12,900 per 60 minutes, dramatisations to £9,360 per 60 minutes and adaptations to £5,760 per 60 minutes.

In addition, BBC sketch writers will see a rise of 4% on minimum fees, taking the ‘per minute’ minimum rate to £123.

See the full BBC TV rate card, which is effective immediately, here.

The new Script Agreement for Television and Online updates and aligns terms for writers with wider industry practice, reflecting new opportunities for the use of writers’ work in a contemporary, digital setting.

Writers will benefit from increased residuals across various platforms, in the form of extract fees, for example in videogames or live events, where a writer will be paid a fee of £200 per 30 seconds for extracts over 30 seconds.

The Script Agreement for Television and Online also enshrines a wide range of other protections for writers, including pension rights, repeat fees and an attendance allowance.

As well as work commissioned by the corporation, it also covers work commissioned and exploited by its commercial arm BBC Studios, on linear and digital platforms including ITV, Sky, UK TV and Channel 4.  

WGGB General Secretary Ellie Peers said: “In television, screenwriters’ work is now exploited in ways that we would never have imagined a decade or so ago, so it is important that our collective union agreements keep pace. Our negotiating team have worked long and hard to achieve that goal and to ensure that UK writers receive a sizable pay rise that they deserve during such challenging economic times for our creative sector.”

Nikki Touchard, Director of Rights and Talent Accounting/BBC Studios, said: “We are delighted to have worked with the Writers’ Guild of Great Britain and the PMA to agree new terms for writers on our scripted shows.”

WGGB General Secretary Ellie Peers is pictured above (centre) signing the Script Agreement for Television and Online with the BBC’s Julieann May (left) and Jo Korn (right). Photo: BBC

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