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C4, Pact hammer out new terms

The UK’s Channel 4 has agreed to new terms of trade with indie producers’ body Pact to cover its new catch-up channel 4seven and video-on-demand service 4oD.

The agreement extends the existing terms covering Channel 4 and its digital channels E4, More4 and Film4 to 4seven, which will launch later this year.

Pact and C4 have also negotiated a pay-per-click system for producers of content that appears on 4oD.

The two say discussions will continue about digital rights as the take-up of internet-connected televisions increases.

Pact chair Debbie Manners said: “This is a win-win agreement. It’s also a great example of a light-touch regulation system that works well, and it shows that the system can work in everyone’s interests.

“Independent producers have a stake in the success of the new Channel 4 terms of trade and we are hopeful for future supplemental agreements on digital spin-off rights.”

Anne Bulford, C4’s chief operating officer, said: “It is essential that the terms of trade continue to evolve to reflect the changing world in which Channel 4 and its independent production partners work.

“We look forward to continuing our constructive dialogue with Pact to discuss how the terms can continue to adapt to take account of the increasing take-up of internet-connected TV.”

Earlier this week, C4 announced it would be growing its content budget to an all-time high of £455m (US$731m) in 2012, up £5m on last year.

However, UK media regulator Ofcom wrote to C4 yesterday expressing concern about the proportion of commissions given to indies in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, as well as raising questions about its strategy for delivering online educational material to 14- to 19-year-olds.

In related news, the broadcaster’s arts commissioning editor Tabitha Jackson has ordered another 260 short films for late-night arts strand Random Acts, which launched last October.

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