TORONTO - Canadian actors and producers reached another new tentative deal Wednesday in their ongoing labour dispute.

The two sides have come to an agreement over payment for use of material in new media, such as the Internet.

ACTRA chief negotiator Stephen Waddell called the deal "innovative.''

"This whole area of new media is an exciting new frontier, and we're the first union that has a collective bargaining agreement that specifically covers this area,'' he said.

The issue of new media was a sticking point with American studios in the previous tentative agreement reached last week.

The U.S. studios were hesitant to back such a precedent-setting deal without similar terms being first negotiated in contracts with American actors' unions, Waddell said.

The tentative agreement includes an option that essentially gives the U.S. studios a way out of the new terms for payment of work on new media.

After Jan. 1, 2009, that part of the agreement will be reopened and renegotiated with the U.S. studios. Once new terms are agreed to, actors will be paid retroactively and with interest for their new media work during the interim two years.

Under the agreement, performers will receive 3.6 per cent of gross revenue generated from product distributed in new media formats.

Performers will also receive a 10 per cent wage increase over the duration of the three-year agreement.

Actors went on strike in Ontario on Jan. 8 and later extended their protest to Quebec, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.