Distribution Delays Due To COVID-19

By May 28, 2020News
Distribution Delays Due to Covid-19

During a global pandemic we have experienced dramatic changes to daily life and the new normal is coming into view — from mass temperature checks and mandatory use of face masks to empty sports and entertainment venues. 

Accustomed to the “New Normal?”

Over these past few months, we are now generally accustomed to sporting trendy face mask designs, delayed deliveries – discovered what is considered “household essentials,” and late-night impulse shopping sprees online- but what about the content we rely on to keep us entertained and seemingly comfortable, (or a tleast keep us distracted), during an extended quarantine? 

Basics of How TV Production Works 

  1. Network approves a pilot for filming
  2. Showrunner and producers are hired. The showrunner is the person in charge. He or she works with the writers and script, casts the actors, is responsible for creative direction and usually oversees the project from start to finish. Sometimes the showrunner is the person who created the show’s concept, wrote the script or treatment and pitched it. Producers help the showrunner handle everything.
  3. Hire the director
  4. Secure star/named talent,
  5. Hire writers
  6. Hire assistant producers
  7. Begin rewriting or updating the script.
  8. Start Casting
  9. Hire the crew 
  10. Finally, the pilot is shot and edited. This schedule is generally outlined as preproductionproduction and postproduction.

It Takes a Village

At any given time, more than 80 people can be working together to make a TV show.  So how can it even be possible considering the possible enforcement of a long list of strict COVID-19 rules and restrictions?  

Entertainment & Media Law Signal

Every producer that has a license agreement with a distributor, broadcaster or an SVOD service has an obligation to complete and deliver their content in accordance with the defined schedule. While productions have shut down in this current environment, producers have had to adjust those dates and improvise where possible to deliver content that will feed an almost-parched pipeline. 

In this episode of the Entertainment & Media Law Signal podcast, Bob Tarantino and Caitlin Choi speak with David Steinberg, who has been helping film and television producers deal with the challenges of delivery during the pandemic. David shares helpful provisions for renegotiating agreements, and looks ahead to the future hurdles content producers may face in the second, third, etc. waves of issues that will arise to due COVID-19.

If you would like to discuss this podcast, a COVID-related delay to your delivery obligations or renegotiating a license agreement, please contact David SteinbergBob Tarantino or Caitlin Choi.


Jenn David

Author Jenn David

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