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Musicians Union, Networks Reach TV Deal

The agreement covers variety shows like “American Idol” and late-night TV.

The American Federation of Musicians has reached a TV videotape agreement with ABC, CBS and NBC, the union announced Tuesday. The pact is the successor to an agreement concluded a decade ago. The new three-year deal includes wage increases, increased pension, health and welfare contributions, and new media provisions requiring residuals when television shows are used or reused in webcasts or online.

Details such as percentages, dollar figures and new media details were not released.

“The path to this agreement was arduous,” said AFM president Ray Hair. “I cannot praise too highly the steadfast work of our negotiating team in protecting the interests of our musicians and the talent they bring to the television industry.”

The agreement covers hundreds of musicians who perform in weekly variety shows like American Idol and Dancing with the Stars, as well as house bands house bands and guest artists of late night programs like The Late Show with David Letterman, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, and Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. The agreement does not appear to cover music in scripted programming, such as primetime half-hours and dramas.

The AFM said its focus will now shift to negotiating a new agreement with the film industry. Negotiations for a successor Motion Picture-TV Film Agreement began Nov. 2. The current agreement expires Feb. 23, 2013.

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