BBC, Pact agree on new media rights

MUMBAI: The BBC and the Producers Alliance for Cinema and Television (Pact) which represents independent producers in the UK have finalised amendments to their existing terms of trade agreement. This gives BBC audiences enhanced opportunities to view their favourite programmes across all platforms and allowing independent production companies greater freedom to exploit new media rights.

The new deal is the first to be struck on new media rights by Pact and a major UK broadcaster and has been achieved within the 31 May deadline for agreement set by Ofcom as part of its TV Production Sector Review.

The key changes to the existing Terms of Trade provide for:

Enhanced opportunities to catch up on BBC programming via the public service window.Viewers will be able to catch up on any episodes of a series they have missed on-demand while the series is still going out. Viewers will also be able to download and store programmes locally to view later. Once accessed, they have seven days to view them. Commercial video-on-demand rights will be available to exploit in the UK for the first time. Independents will also have greater freedom to exploit other new media rights and enjoy an improved share of revenue from commercial exploitation in the UK.

In addition, the BBC will simplify and streamline its procedures in relation to its holdback policy – making the use of independent programmes in the UK much easier and more straightforward. 

BBC Television COO Bal Samra said, "There have been some tough negotiations but there is agreement on both sides that these amendments strike a great deal for both the independent production sector and the licence fee payer."

BBC director of television Jana Bennett said, "This deal has improved what was a fairly narrow public service new media window to view programmes. It creates the possibility - subject to the necessary approvals - for audiences to catch up with their favourite BBC programmes at their convenience. It's great news for viewer choice and for anyone who wants flexibility as to when and how they watch our output."

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