May 16, 2023

Writers Guild Posts Studio-By-Studio Breakdown of How Much a Deal Would Cost

The WGA projects that capitulation to their contract demands would cost Disney $75 million annually, and Netflix $68 million. A mere drop in the bucket for the Billions, yes, with a B, the companies make annually.

The Writers Guild is estimating that the cost of its current contract proposals for top studios and streamers would be $343 million, while the overall cost to the industry would be $429 million. The WGA sent a breakdown to membership Tuesday, showing cost by employer. Disney would incur $75 million annually, while the proposals would cost Netflix $68 million and Warner Bros. Discovery $47 million on a per-year basis, per the union’s calculations. The cost to Paramount Global and NBC Universal would be $45 million and $34 million, respectively, while Amazon came in at $32 million.

The guild then compared these costs to companies’ annual revenues and calculated the percentage that these costs would represent compared to those profits. The costs would account for 0.091 percent of Disney’s revenue, 0.214 of Netflix’s, 0.108 percent of Warner Bros. Discovery’s, 0.148 percent of Paramount Global’s, 0.028 percent of NBC Universal’s and 0.006 percent of Amazon’s, the WGA claims.

“The cost of these proposed improvements is modest compared to industry revenues and profits, but are essential to writers whose pay and working conditions have eroded over the past decade,” wrote the WGA’s negotiating committee, co-chaired by David Goodman and Chris Keyser.

The union negotiating committee added, “These companies have made billions in profit off writers’ work, and they tell their investors every quarter about the importance of scripted content. Yet they are risking significant continued disruption in the coming weeks and months that would far outweigh the costs of settling.”

The Milken Institute has estimated that the 2007-2008 writers’ strike cost the California economy $2.1 billion over the course of 100 days, with projected losses including $282.3 million for the information, leisure and hospitality sector and $366.7 million for the professional and business services sector.

Your move studios, your move.