The agreement would let writers claim to have bettered a similar deal achieved last month between the production companies and the Directors Guild of America. In the third year of the Writers Guild deal, writers will be paid a percentage of the distributor's revenue rather than the flat fee for Web-streamed television shows granted to the directors. The writers had insisted on this issue to ensure they not lose out on any new-media windfall the studios and networks may get from Web video. The producers yielded on this point – and the directors did not push it –arguing that Internet distribution is unlikely to become a significant business during the length of these contracts.
In their message to members, [Michael Winship, president of WGA East,] and [Writers Guild of America West President Patric Verrone] focused on the WGA's contract gains, which include the studios' agreement to pay a percentage of distributors' gross on streamed online product in the third year of the deal; writers will receive a flat fee of $1,200 for the first two years, for content that airs after the promotional periods.