Payout for performers as Equity and 4OD reach new deal

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Equity has agreed a new deal with Channel 4 for its on-demand programmes in which more than £750,000 will be distributed to performers.

The money will be paid out by the British Equity Collecting Society at the end of 2013, based upon the number of downloads made from the station’s on-demand website 4OD through-­out the year.

However, as the lump sum has already been agreed up front, the union will not receive any further money from Channel 4 based on the number of downloads. The payment each performer receives will also be calculated according to how big his or her part was.

The amount of money available to performers for this year is almost 50% more than the figure agreed for 2012, when Equity settled on more than £500,000 in payment as part of the video on demand licence agreement, which has been running since 2006.

The licence for 4OD services is negotiated annually between Equity and Channel 4. The broadcaster is unable to include shows as part of its on-demand archive without coming to an agreement with the union.

An Equity spokesman said: “Equity’s council is delighted to see a significant increase in payments going to Equity members for 4OD this year. This is a reflection of the increasing popularity of these services.”

A Channel 4 spokeswoman said: “In 2013, 4OD launched substantial offerings on Sky/SkyGo and LoveFilm, as well as continuing on NetFlix, which has led to a healthy increase in the lump sum payment.

“The deal demonstrated a close working relationship between Channel 4 and Equity and their ability to meet the continuing challenges of new technology and programme distribution on behalf of performers and broadcast services.”