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HomeBlog the LineA *de facto* settlement? DGA Analysis, Time Warner ratchets up the internet...

A *de facto* settlement? DGA Analysis, Time Warner ratchets up the internet revenue, etc.


So, the question now is how long the WGA can sustain its strike if the perception builds that the DGA got a fair deal from the “prods.” Indeed, that same perception may prevent SAG from walking out entirely, if it becomes both common wisdom and the new initial bargaining position for both sides.

Was it a fair deal?

There’s some astute analysis from WGA Strike Captains over at United Hollywood, that’s definitely worth your time, but the punchline is this:

There are some genuine gains here, some issues that need clarification and some points of grave concern that threaten to drastically undercut writers’ compensation. The DGA deal, as we understand it, is neither reason for celebration nor mourning. Writers (and actors!) must resist the urge to get entrenched in a position on this too quickly. Parts of this deal will be the basis for a meaningful resumption of talks with the WGA, parts of this will not. Let’s discuss it, let’s debate it, but let’s keep it civil and understand that the deal that gets everyone back to work will be the one that no one loves, but everyone can live with.

The other questions remain the personal/vendetta-based ones: Were the producers simply waiting to give their “best deal” to the directors, out of personal rancor with the WGA leadership? And is the WGA defending a “wait until the last minute” strategy for delaying negotiations — unlike the directors — that almost guaranteed a strike.

Then again, the very fact of the WGA being out probably resulted in the directors getting a better, swifter deal than they might have otherwise.

On the corporate side, no time is being wasted ratcheting up those “unproven” internet profits, by the way. Here’s a snippet about Time Warner from today’s news:

NEW YORK (AP) – Time Warner Cable will experiment with a new pricing structure for high-speed Internet access later this year, charging customers based on how much data they download, a company spokesman said Wednesday.

The company, the second-largest cable provider in the United States, will start a trial in Beaumont, Texas, in which it will sell new Internet customers tiered levels of service based on how much data they download per month, rather than the usual fixed-price packages with unlimited downloads.

Company spokesman Alex Dudley said the trial was aimed at improving the network performance by making it more costly for heavy users of large downloads. Dudley said that a small group of super-heavy users of downloads, around 5 percent of the customer base, can account for up to 50 percent of network capacity.

Dudley said he did not know what the pricing tiers would be nor the download limits. He said the heavy users were likely using the network to download large amounts of video, most likely in high definition.

There’s more at the link, but you can see we’ve come “full circle” in internet usage if the ISPs are going to be charging us, once again, by the “minute,” as in days of yore. Or like being in a taxi. Or perhaps a brothel.

No wonder the big telecoms were coming down so hard on the concept of free municipal wireless!

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Brad Allan

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