25 February 2019
By the end of 2018, having launched at the tail end of the previous year, Equity Distribution Services (EDS) had paid out a whopping £12.7 million to thousands of performers. That means that over the past 5 years Equity has collected more than £60 million for performers.
EDS ensures that performers receive, among other payments, feature film royalties and special usage payments owed to them through work undertaken on union contracts.
The final payments of 2018 went out in the first week of December and saw some 9,000 performers receive a portion of £3.1m. This included payments for programmes on BBC channels picked by cable and satellite stations in neighbouring countries – the Republic of Ireland, Holland and Belgium – between January and December 2016, and more than three quarters of a million pounds for feature films covered by Equity’s cinema films agreement including Wonder Woman, Skyfall, Eye in the Sky and Dunkirk.
The BBC cable monies are negotiated by Equity as a lump sum payable by the BBC on a yearly basis. Equity carries out all work involved in identifying programmes and Equity-contracted performers who are due a share of this revenue, and Distribution Services apply an allocation policy to determine how the revenue is shared between eligible performers. A key feature of cable monies is the fact that they are additional to standard royalties, such as network repeats and programmes sales. In other words, cable retransmission revenues exemplify how effectively the union protects the use of Equity-contracted performers’ audiovisual work and ensures performers are financially rewarded when their work is used in different ways and on different platforms.
TV programmes receiving payments in December included Eastenders, Casualty, Russell Howard’s Good News, Tracey Beaker Returns and The Good Old Days.
You can find out more about EDS here.