The Independent Film & Television Alliance (IFTA) has reached an agreement with Comcast and NBC Universal to provide enhanced independent programming opportunities on NBCU’s broadcast and cable networks, as well as Comcast’s VOD and online platforms, IFTA’s Jean Prewitt announced. The agreement offers greater consideration for independently produced primetime programming from both IFTA and non-IFTA members.
The majority of the NBCU commitments will be applicable for a period of four years starting June 1, 2011, pending closure of the Comcast and NBCU joint venture.
IFTA Chairman Lloyd Kaufman, a longtime independent filmmaker who has played a key role in the origination of the organization’s advocacy campaign, commented, “This agreement recognizes the importance of independent production to traditional and new media, and the IFTA Board is pleased to have opened this door for the industry.”
Under the agreement, Comcast and NBCU will:
- Work with IFTA to schedule an annual development presentation for up to 200 independent producers, including both IFTA and qualified non-IFTA producers/production companies, to outline its upcoming scripted and unscripted reality programming needs
- Arrange meetings each year with creative executives from NBCU’s entertainment networks to take series pitches and select from a diverse group of qualified independent producers (the cable group has agreed to take at least 15 pitches and the broadcast group at least 20 pitches in the six-month period following each development presentation, with possible digital platform opportunities to also be explored)
- Allocate funds exclusively dedicated to supporting early development of new projects from independent producers
- Facilitate formal introductions of independent producers of television movies to advertisers looking to produce fully-sponsored MOWs that will be supplied to the NBC Network on a time-buy basis, as the company’s sales and programming needs dictate
- Take submissions for NBCU’s cable networks of professionally produced and completed MOWs, miniseries or films from qualified independent producers at agreed upon times and locations, including IFTA’s annual American Film Market, in a good faith effort to consider independent programming that may fit specific needs
- Have Comcast Cable meet with IFTA, with the two developing a plan to develop a direct business relationship under which independent producers can license their content to Comcast Cable for distribution on new media platforms