NEW YORK – The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employes (IATSE) has signed a contract with the Showtime division of Viacom for exclusive use of IATSE crews on original programming in the United States and Canada.
The agreement with Showtime Development Corporation, sought by IATSE for 23 years, mirrors the arrangement IATSE has with HBO Original Programming and creates a level playing field for both pay-cable producers.
As Showtime continues its ramp-up of original programming to compete with HBO, the new agreement will mean hundreds of jobs for IATSE Locals. One successful Showtime series would employ an average of 75 IATSE members.
“This contract marks the beginning of what I see as a long and mutually beneficial relationship between Showtime and the IATSE to create pay-cable product of the highest quality,” said Thomas C. Short, International President of the 105,000-member IATSE.
In addition, this agreement has secured for IATSE a significant portion of work previously performed non-IATSE in Canada, where much of Showtime’s original programming has been produced in the past.
Another notable feature of the agreement is a provision for residuals on product produced for pay-cable and later sold on video or DVD.
Showtime was formed in 1976 and went national in 1978. Its first original programing was produced in 1982.