Actors left waiting for ITV Player royalties

Payments owed to performers whose work is accessed on ITV Player are being delayed, with Equity blaming the broadcaster for taking too long to relay information about programme usage.

The criticism comes as Equity ratified a new agreement with ITV about use of members’ work on its video-on-demand service, ITV Player.

Equity said it has “areas of concern” in its dealings with ITV, particularly in relation to the “timeliness of their reporting” to the British Equity Collecting Society, which administers payments owed to actors on Equity’s behalf.

ITV provides a lump sum to Equity for use of material on ITV Player, but union spokesman Martin Brown said that payments to members depended on BECS receiving data on whose work has been used, which he claimed the broadcaster is being slow to submit.

“When we have the money we can pay members. The data breaks down whose work has been used and the level of their contribution [and] our collecting society, BECS, has a formula to establish who gets what. But they can’t operate that formula until they get the data. We have no interest in money sitting in an account, we want to distribute it as soon as we possibly can,” he said.

Brown also said Equity has “questions” for the broadcaster about programmes that are repeated on ITV3 and ITV4 and whether the union is “getting as much as we should do” for members’ work.

“We want to make sure the licence fee for the use of work on ITV3 and ITV4 is at the right level,” he said.

An ITV spokeswoman said: “ITV is engaged in discussions with Equity and BECS and we are working with them to ensure the reporting they require is provided to enable prompt payment to their members.”

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