Legal threat over SABC’s plans to cut rerun fees
The SABC now wants to stop paying fees for rebroadcasts which will deprive thousands of actors and writers of income from reruns.
It wants to amend the existing agreements around retransmission payments, or royalties, so drastically that actors will earn much less for these broadcasts – and, later, nothing at all.
‘The SABC’s a government body and, if it needs money, it has to ask government, not take it from the actors and writers,’ said veteran actor Hans Strydom.
He warned that if the broadcaster goes ahead with its plans to cut rerun fees, ‘we’ll approach the courts to force it to comply with the existing fee structure’.
He added that ‘we’ll do it with the help of AfriForum, which is assisting us’.
City Press reports that the SABC relies more and more on rebroadcasts because there is no money for new TV programmes.
The corporation has a decades-old agreement to compensate actors and writers for reruns with a percentage of their original payment.
The Hollywood strike in 2023, in which the American Actors’ Guild finally signed a new agreement with studios, revolved precisely around getting better rebroadcast payments when series such as Friends or Seinfeld are now made available on streaming services such as Netflix.
Rapport has learnt that the SABC’s group head of video entertainment Merlin Naicker is behind the plan to cut actors’ fees because the payment of rebroadcast fees to actors and writers is supposedly no longer ‘financially sustainable’ for the corporation.
The new plan involves reducing actors’ rerun fees to just three payments: 25% of the original compensation for a first rerun, 14% for a second rerun and 10% for a third one.
Article disclaimer: While we have made every effort to ensure the accuracy of this article, it is not intended to provide final legal advice as facts and situations will differ from case to case, and therefore specific legal advice should be sought with a lawyer.