What are SAG Residuals / DGA Residuals / WGA Residuals?

Residual payments are compensation due to employees in addition to their initial payment for
the continued use of the work performed under a union contract. Residual payments may be
due once a production is sold or licensed for distribution, depending on the original use of the
production and the Reuse Markets involved.

Who receives SAG residuals?

Only principle performers who are included in the final product are owed residuals, when
residuals are due. Background performers, extras, or performers whose performance was
excluded in the final edit are not owed residuals.

Who Pays SAG residuals?

The signatory entity is primarily responsible for paying out residuals, although in rare instances
the distributor may take on this obligation. Payments are typically processed through the SAG
payroll house to be properly calculated and paid out.

What do Made-for Market and Reuse Market mean?

The union signatory agreement will list the Made-for Market, such as Theatrical, New Media, or
Television, which is based on the intended first use/exhibition. The Reuse Market refers to all
markets the production is made available to for distribution after the Made-for-Market use.
For Theatrical projects, there are no residuals due if the Reuse Market is also Theatrical, even if
the production is being made available in different theatrical markets (such as being licensed
for overseas theatrical use).

Here’s a brief list of Made-for Markets and Reuse Markets for SAG residuals:

Made-For Market Reuse Market

  • Theatrical
  • Free TV
  • Basic Cable
  • Pay TV
  • Home Video
  • New Media (Original, Derivative, High Budget SVOD)

Reuse Market

  • Theatrical
  • Inflight
  • Free TV
  • Foreign Free TV
  • Home Video/DVD
  • Pay TV*
  • Basic Cable
  • SVOD / DTR
  • (Subscriber supported Video-On-Demand)*
  • EST (Electronic Sell-Through) / DTO
  • (Download to Own)*
  • AVOD (Ad supported Video-On-Demand)*
*(These markets are also referred to as Supplemental Markets)

How Are SAG Residuals Calculated?

While initial compensation is based on the negotiated rate between the employees and the
union signatory (subject to the applicable union minimums), residual payments are based on a
variety of factors. The total residuals due from a sale/licensing deal is based on: the revenue
generated—whether from Distributors Gross Receipts (DGR) or a licensing fee—the governing
union contract, and the reuse market or markets. Then, the total amount of residuals due is
split between covered employees.

The amount due to each employee is based on formulas that factor the distribution revenue,
the governing union contract, the initial compensation paid to each employee, total days or
weeks worked, and the reuse market(s).

When are SAG Residuals Due?

The timeline of residual payments also depends on the Made-for and Reuse markets. Here’s a
quick overview for Theatrical and Television productions:


Reuse Market:

  • Network
  • Free TV
  • Supplemental Markets

Residuals Due:

  • 30 Days after 1st broadcast + quarterly if revenue is received
  • Four months after 1st broadcast + quarterly if revenue is received
  • Four months after 1st broadcast + quarterly if revenue is received


Reuse Market:

  • Network
  • Syndication
  • Foreign
  • Free TV
  • Supplemental markets

Residuals Due:

  • 30 days after air date
  • 4 months after air date
  • 30 days after producer finds out about the 1st telecast, and never longer than 6 months after the telecast, regardless of when the producer finds out
  • Quarterly if revenue is received
  • Four months after 1st exhibition + quarterly if revenue is received

What do I need when paying SAG residuals?

It’s always best to connect with your payroll contact for specifics, but generally you will need
the following to have your residuals processed by the payroll company:

  • An allocation for Reuse Markets & total DGR or licensing fee revenue (your SAG-AFTRA
    agreement may include a default allocation for residual markets)
  • The CAM Agreement, if one is in place
  • A final cast list and the starting/ending credits for the production

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