Members of the American Federation of Musicians who perform on live TV shows have ratified a new three-year contract with ABC, CBS and NBC. The union, which represents some 80,000 musicians, said that the new pact includes “significant improvements” –including, for the first time, streaming residuals for musicians who perform on live television productions.
The agreement covers all musicians involved in the production of streamed shows, including house bands, guest artists, back-up musicians, and music preparation personnel when their shows are exhibited on advertiser-supported streaming platforms. The agreement also includes what the union said are “long-overdue” annual wage increases and additional health and welfare contributions from employers.
The union has been trying to win streaming residuals for years, which it failed to achieve a year ago in separate negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers for a new contract covering episodic TV shows made for streaming services. Streaming residuals, which are a key element of all the major guilds’ contracts, had been the AFM’s main goal in last year’s talks, as they were in the recently concluded negotiations with the three networks.
AFM president Ray Hair said that the new streaming residuals for musicians on live TV shows “is a fundamental, structural contract change that would not have been possible without the solidarity, activism, hard work, and enormous time investment of all involved in the negotiations, including musicians who created the #RespectUs campaign to highlight the inequities in their contract. I am thankful for the steadfast commitment of the Federation’s negotiating team towards protecting and improving the benefits our great musicians receive for their talented contributions to the television industry.”
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