The Writers Guild dropped their demands for an increase in DVD residuals early in the contract talks. Now that Toshiba is pulling the plug on HD DVD will a resolution of the Hi Def War in favor of Blu Ray cause DVD revenues to start climbing again? Given the strong following of Blu Ray building up in the gaming community, it could turn out that the decision to stake it all on “new media” (where there is only a few hundred million in revenue currently) and drop DVD residuals as an issue (where there are tens of billions in revenues) may have been a mistake.
Of course, as I have written before, to take on the DVD issue in a serious way would have required long term planning and strategic intervention across the whole supply chain in the EMI sector – and that could only have been carried out by the WGA and DGA if SAG had not been AWOL (off picking fights with AFTRA to satisfy the short sighted militants who have a choke hold on serious thinking about rebuilding labor power in Hollywood).
Let’s hope that the “sit down” in D.C. this weekend with President Sweeney of the AFL-CIO generated more light than heat. It may come too late for SAG to do much about the basic contract pattern in place for this year’s bargaining but as I will continue to point out, 2011 is just around the corner.