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  • Writer's pictureNancy C. Prager

Lessons from the USC Gould School of Law Institute on Entertainment Law and Business

Our principal attorney, Nancy C. Prager, Esq., recently attended the USC Gould School of Law Institute on Entertainment Law and Business. Nancy has attended the conference for many years because it gives her an opportunity to learn and catch up with colleagues.


The highlight of the conference each year for Nancy is Jeffrey Cole's presentation on the state of the film and television business. This year was no different. His presentation looks back at the year since his last talk, and includes predictions for the near and far future.


Among the issues Jeff Cole raised this year are that two existential events hit the Industry in 2023: the overlapping strikes AND cable carriage fights.


Strikes are cyclical, and the industry can prepare for them. However, the cable carriage situation is a game changer.


Carriage refers to the fees cable companies pay networks like ABC (Disney), NBC, and Warner Bros Discovery to carry their stations. Carriage fees account for a significant portion of networks revenues which in turn pay for production of content.


In its most recent negotiation with Spectrum, according to Mr. Cole, The Walt Disney Company had to concede on a number of issues including how much they would be paid for their content and how many channels Spectrum would carry. Additionally, Spectrum customers will get Disney+ for free which takes away a revenue source to the parent company!


BREAKING NEWS: Since the conference, WOW! Internet, Cable & Phone has announced to its subscribers that they are no longer going to offer cable. Rather, they will offer Internet and subscribers can choose YoutubeTV as an option or any other streaming service. This means that WOW is out of the cable business, and will not be paying any carriage fees to any networks moving forward.


Nancy's takeaways from Mr. Cole's presentation this year are that the business of film and television production is going to look a lot different in 2024 and beyond. There is going to be less money to support production of content which will lead to fewer opportunities for creators. We are going to have work even harder to keep the pipeline open for creators from diverse backgrounds.


However, there is a really bright spot for the Georgia Department of Economic Development. The Georgia Entertainment Industry Investment Act provides productions a fully transferable tax credit equal to up to 30% of the qualified expenses a production spends in the state. This credit is a win-win for productions and the state of Georgia because each $1 a production spends in the state has a $6.1 impact on the economy according to a recent study Olsberg•SPI performed for the Georgia Screen Entertainment Coalition.


If you want to learn how the Georgia Film Tax Credit can benefit your production(s) during these uncertain times in the industry, please contact us at 470 485 5120 or info@pragerlaw.us. Nancy and her team are here to help!

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