MANADALAY ENTERTAINMENT CHAIRMAN PETER GUBER TELLS FOX BUSINESS NETWORK THAT THE WRITER’S STRIKE COULD LAST UNTIL NEXT JUNE

In a broadcast exclusive with FOX Business Network’s Neil Cavuto, Mandalay Entertainment Chairman Peter Guber comments on Michael Eisner calling the writer’s strike “stupid,” on how long he thinks the strike will last and on who the strike is hurting most.

On Michael Eisner’s comments on the strike:

“Michael Eisner missed his career. He should have done standup. He’s very colorful. He’s a smart guy but he has an institutional bias…The reality is that some of what he has to say is right. Some strikes are stupid, but here, you have to think about the writers. They’re not thinking about the present. They’re really looking at the past and into the future. In the past, they made the negotiation too late for the DVD slice of the pie and they lived with that as that became the whole pie. Now, they look at the future and the pie’s not really fully there but they want to have their fork in the pan as it gets there. I think they understand fully that this is an opportunity to do it. The question is whether they can stay in the fight until all the way to maybe next June.”

On how long the strike will last:

“If they [the writers] wanted to play chicken – Thelma and Louis racing to the cliff – they might say something like unless you make a deal with us right now – knowing that the DGA stop date is in March and they don’t want the DGA negotiating for them – they would say make a deal with us now or we’re going to wait until June and we’re going to test whether or not you can really hang in…and whether you can forgo next year’s television series and go to the advertiser without any product, and I think they would be scared by that.”

On why this strike is different:

“The difference between now and twenty years ago, which is when the other big strike happened, which lasted almost five months and lost a half a billion dollars, everybody came back and the audience came back. Everyone thinks that’s the same here. Now, what’s going to happen is that you have two different forces that play for the audience? You have the Internet, which wasn’t there and you have video games.”

On who’s getting hurt:

“I think the audience will have some pain. It’s an equal opportunity abuser. The truth is, it’s more of a TV strike than a studio or motion picture strike. The studios have bulked up fop 2007. They knew this famine was coming. It’s more of a television strike at this point so the question is, if it goes long, will the studios and motion pictures feel it in 2009?”

On the pressure to go back to work:

“Pressure, pressure. Where does the pain stop and where does the joy start? Right now, everyone’s playing chicken and jockeying for position. Right now, there’s no robust leadership in the movie and network business. Maybe Chernin and Iger could come forward and twist everybody’s arms but somebody’s gotta lead the pack, and right now, I don’t see it happening.”