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BBC, Pact agree new kids trade terms

The BBC and UK producers’ trade body Pact have agreed a new terms of trade deal for children’s programming commissioned by the pubcaster.

Patricia Hidalgo

The deal, described by the BBC as “groundbreaking,” will increase the flexibility the Beeb has to make content available between linear channels and VoD.

The BBC said this will transform its offering for children and enable it to keep up with rapidly changing audience habits.

Crucially for the BBC, young audiences will be able to access programmes in a complete box set on BBC iPlayer for at least four years – a significant increase on the current window. The terms are due to come into effect for new commissions from January 1.

Beyond the period of four years, further payments will be due to the producer for the BBC to keep using the programme.

As with the terms agreed earlier this year for other genres, the BBC will take a reduced back end, losing 5% on each category of programme sales, giving independent producers greater commercial returns.

For titles that continue to be recommissioned, a payment of 1% per year is required, which can continue for as long as the programme is a returning brand.

John McVay

For titles that are not recommissioned, the BBC is entitled to make the 1% annual payment for three more years, and if the BBC wants those three years to remain exclusive, then an additional 1% is payable.

The BBC’s programme release policy will continue to apply and will be exercised in a fair and transparent way, it said.

Bal Samra, the BBC’s group commercial director, said: “This is a groundbreaking deal which future-proofs our delivery to children’s audiences, providing maximum flexibility for the very best content, whether on our branded channels or as complete box sets on BBC iPlayer.”

Patricia Hidalgo, director of children’s and education at the BBC, said: “This new deal is great news for our audience, who will no longer have just a 30-day window to watch their favourite programmes on BBC iPlayer. Great shows that our youngest audiences love will now be available as full box sets for four years, meaning kids really can watch whenever and however they want.”

John McVay, Pact’s chief executive, added: “Having concluded terms of trade for other genres earlier this year, Pact is pleased to agree new terms for children’s producers who will benefit from an automatically shorter initial licence period than other genres (down to four years from five years) and an increased share of net receipts.”

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