Saturday, August 19

Galactica Webisodes Threatened By Dispute

Source: HNR

As most of you may already know, Battlestar Galactica recently delved into the digital world with the announcement of a series of original webisodes, to be produced by SCI FI Channel, and to eventually debut on the network's new "SCI FI Pulse" online broadband network.

One of the early installments was to be titled "Crossroads."

Part of the rationale behind the concept is to keep fervor and interest alive in network properties in-between seasons, but it now appears that the concept has hit a snag.

NBC Universal has filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board, alleging labor law violations by the Writers Guild of America.

According to TV Week, the complaint claims the WGA has asked writers and producers on programs such as Battlestar Galactica to cease working on Web-only episodes. The complaint claims the webisodes are already covered under current guild contract and urges the NLRB to compel staffers to resume work. NBCU claims webisode production has been at a standstill since June.

Networks often spend about $5,000 or less to produce a webisode that typically has a running time of two to four minutes. With little to no advertising revenue generated by the content, networks are reluctant to pay writers for Internet reuse, instead arguing the content is strictly promotional.

That the WGA has also rallied producers, who are not represented by the WGA, is unusual. The affected shows also include NBC's Crossing Jordan, The Office and Heroes.

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