Agreements with NBC Bring New Work for NABET-CWA Members
Jul 02, 2012
Members to work on “NBC Sports Network” and new Chicago-based talk show
NBC Sports Channel
On March 7, NABET-CWA and NBC Universal reached an agreement that will bring new work for the Union’s members. NABET-CWA members will now be assigned to certain broadcasts airing on the “NBC Sports Network” cable channel, formerly known as “Versus.” Versus was owned by Comcast prior to the corporate re-organization of Comcast and NBCU.
“NABET-CWA is pleased that we were able to reach this milestone agreement with NBC Universal, an agreement which should bring a significant amount of work for our members there,” said NABET-CWA President James C. Joyce. “This new arrangement will provide the full benefit of our national contract for these cable television broadcasts and represents a marked step forward in the business relationship between the Union and the Company,” Joyce added.
The NBC Sports Network channel is available on cable systems and satellite TV providers throughout the United States. NABET-CWA-represented technicians will now be assigned to cable-only broadcasts of events such as the monthly series, “Costas Tonight,” certain NHL playoff games, pre- and post-event coverage of Triple Crown and Breeders Cup thoroughbred racing, and other sports programming. These assignments will be in addition to times when these events air for broadcast on the NBC Television Network.
According to NABET-CWA Local 11 President Thomas Cappo, the agreement allows the Union’s members to pick up work in the field that would otherwise be cable work only.
“We are hopeful that this agreement will generate more work in an area like Sports, where the network has plans to grow,” Cappo said. “We will continue to seek such agreements to pick up work for our members where we currently do not have jurisdiction.”
This new agreement comes less than one month after the 2,500 NABET-CWA members employed at NBC ratified a new national contract with the network and its TV stations in New York City, Washington, D.C., Chicago, and Los Angeles.
Steve Harvey Talk Show
A new syndicated daytime show, “Steve Harvey,” will be produced at WMAQ-TV/NBC5 studios in downtown Chicago using a NABET-CWA crew. The new show, produced by Endemol USA, will debut in the fall and is expected to create 100 jobs between local production staff, technicians and vendors.
“I’m very happy to announce that we have reached an agreement and a partnership with NBC and Endemol that creates jobs for our members,” said Local 41 President Charles Braico. “I look forward to a successful production, and hopefully, a long partnership between Local 41 and the Steve Harvey show.
When news of the show was announced, Braico said he contacted NBC management about using NABET crews. NBC does not own the production rights, so in leasing the studio to Endemol, the production falls under the “4-wall clause” of the NBC Master Agreement. The clause states that if the property rights are owned by someone other than NBC, the crew doesn’t have to be represented by NABET-CWA.
Braico contacted NBC management and said he’d like to make it a Union show.
“I told them that under the four-wall provision, they would likely be hiring the same people to do the work, but the difference is that they would not be protected by a Union contract.”
NABET struck a deal with NBC, reaching a “project agreement” that falls largely under the terms of the NBC master agreement, but with a few conditions. This is a first time that the 4-wall clause has not been invoked for such a production. In the past, shows such as “Jerry Springer” and “Jenny Jones” were produced under the four-wall clause.
“Steve Harvey” will be produced in an all-new HD studio facility at NBC 5.
NABET NEWS Summer 2012