Musicians who perform on late-night TV shows will rally Tuesday at noon outside ABC’s New York headquarters in support of the American Federation of Musicians’ negotiations for a new contract, which resumed today after a seven-month hiatus. The union says the chief sticking point in the contract talks remains a formula for residuals for band members when their work is re-aired on YouTube and network websites.
The contract covers musicians who perform on shows such as Jimmy Kimmel Live!, The Late Show With Stephen Colbert, The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Saturday Night Live and The Voice. Union officials note that the musicians “aren’t paid when shows are ‘free’ to watch online. But these ‘free’ shows aren’t really free; they are supported by paid advertising. Other performers are all paid residuals when live television shows stream, but musicians do not receive residuals for this type of work.”
Leaders of the 80,000-member union say that when talks broke off last December, “The networks agreed to return to the next negotiating session with a proposal for ad-supported residuals, but the proposal offered by the networks today falls far short of what the networks are paying other performers for this type of work.”
The two sides have been negotiating a new contract for two years for work done on live or recorded television programs initially aired over a broadcast network or in syndication, including variety shows, awards shows, game shows, talk shows, morning shows and sports broadcasts.
The previous contract expired in February 2016 and covered Academy Awards, the Emmys, the Grammys, the Golden Globes, the Tony Awards, the Country Music Awards, the People’s Choice Awards and the the American Music Awards, Late Night With Seth Meyers, Dancing With the Stars, the Today show, CBS This Morning, Good Morning America, The View, The Late Late Show With James Corden and Live With Kelly and Ryan.