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Need Help Negotiating Buyout...Client wants to put our commercial on TV
  • Hey guys. One of our clients got so excited about the commercial we shot that they want to put it on TV. We think that's awesome but...our contract with them outlines it is only for web use. They are insistent that they have paid for the rights to use it however they like. Can anyone out there provide some information or links online about the buyout costs for video production for broadcast use so I can present an intelligent case for why it will cost them more money to put the commercial on TV? What are the rates for broadcast anyways? Totally new territory boys. Thanks!

  • 8 Replies sorted by
  • Legal advice needed, straight away.

  • Unless your contract states broadcast, they can't do anything. I'm on the other side of this crap all the time being an actor. I say let em put it on TV, then take em to the cleaners. :)

  • I am making an assumptions, I assume that you paid actors and had releases signed.

    Process becomes negotiate the rights with that actors/agents then charge some money for doing the organising ... anything else that you have signed ... locations ... did you sign anything that specified only web with anybody else?

    If you have a broadcast vs web rate then reinvoice

  • I wouldn't assume anything without a lawyer reading the contract. Typically, to do a buyout, you'd need to renegotiate all your talent, music, stock footage licenses, etc. to make sure you have the rights. And you as producers, directors, writers should also be paid as you would have been if the commercial had originally been made for broadcast--or nearly so.

    Remember, this is great. Be positive all around. They like your work. This could be a long term client. But there's no reason to give it all away.

  • thanks so much guys for taking the time to chime in. really appreciate this feedback. definitely keeping things super positive and hope to educate the client of the vast differences between web and broadcast audiences and the values given to each.

  • While I'm sympathetic to your case, I can kinda see their point too.... in each case (web & tv) they want the same "thing" (or at least that is how they see it).

    And the problems, if any exist, come from lower down and the rights which you're using in producing it.... presumably it shouldn't be that hard to at least "most of the time" to be gaining rights that can be used more universally than just for web?

    Get the most broadly applicable rights at every stage should be your default stance, and only doing different from that in rare exceptions (such as maybe getting Brad Pitt to star cheaply in their advert is only possible if you agree to "web only" because he is such a megastar, but why should we put up with these difficulties for all the other times?).

    Oh, and this is just general theoretics I'm onto here, for practical specifics in your instance: get a lawyer.

  • You could make a case that they need to pay extra to broadcast, but if it gets to the point that you need to get lawyers involved, etc it may be more trouble than it's worth. Besides, it's really no skin off your back and it's advertising for you as well. They will likely require re-edits in various formats for broadcast so you can charge them extra for that. If you're savvy enough you could do their TV placement for them and make a little money there as well.

  • You need legal advice so your actors, locations, and composer don't sue you...