SAG-AFTRA Netcode Negotiations Start

Talks on the agreement, which covers daytime and syndicated programs, are likely to be smooth
AP Images
SAG-AFTRA's David White

Contract negotiations began Monday between SAG-AFTRA and television networks on the union’s Network Television Code (Netcode) pact, an agreement that covers syndicated dramatic programs, daytime serials (soap operas), promotional announcements, variety, quiz, game, reality, talk, news, sports and other non-dramatic programs. Talks are being held at AMPTP headquarters in Sherman Oaks, Calif.

The current contract expires in less than two weeks, on Nov. 15. The short time allotted is seen as a signal that no major issues are expected. SAG-AFTRA declined to comment and the AMPTP did not immediately respond to an inquiry.

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The Netcode also is referred to as the “front of book” to distinguish it from a provision, Exhibit A, that formerly covered primetime programming. That provision is now subsumed in the SAG-AFTRA Television Agreement, which was negotiated earlier this year and ratified by the union membership in August.

Union president Ken Howard is chairing the negotiations for SAG-AFTRA and national executive director David White is the union’s chief negotiator. It’s unclear whether AMPTP president Carol Lombardini is chief negotiator for management (as she is for most Hollywood labor agreements), or whether a network labor exec takes the lead on Netcode.

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