UK actors union Equity has struck what it believes is the first deal covering contractual rights for performers in a podcast.

The agreement is with B7 Productions, which is producing an updated audio version of 1970s sci-fi show Blake's 7. Actors working on the project (due for release this spring) will be entitled to minimum session fees, rehearsals, overtime payments, holiday pay, assignment of rights and a royalty share on net revenues generated via podcast downloads, audio streaming via the internet and subsequent CD release.

'The Blake's 7 podcast represents an important first step in establishing the rights of members in this developing market,' said Andy Prodger, Equity's assistant general secretary. 'The deal reached by Equity on behalf of our members sets out a basic framework in relation to a performer's rights to royalties and recognises the distinctive nature of this new way of delivering programming to a growing audience.'

Equity hopes these terms can become a template for future podcast productions, and has sent details to the Personal Managers' Association, the Association of Voice-over Agents and the Co-operative Personal Managers Association.

'The agreement between Equity and B7 Productions is not intended to be prescriptive but is important for marking out the boundaries and ensuring that the commercial expectations of performers (and their agents) is realistic,' added Andrew Mark Sewell, executive producer at B7.