UK pubcaster the BBC has signed an agreement with Pact, the UK body that represents British prodcos, over new terms of trade for the commissioning of independent productions.
The newly agreed framework extends the BBC iPlayer’s free-to-air catch-up window from seven to 30 days, and provides for content to be made available via the forthcoming BBC Store – a recently announced commercial initiative which will offer a broad digital video library.
The UK pubcaster says that, currently, more than 90% of the content it airs each year is unavailable for audiences after its initial exposure on the BBC.
The new terms agreed with Pact aim to create a situation where the majority of BBC content produced by indies will be available for members of the public to buy, alongside a growing selection of BBC archive material.
The network also says that indie prodcos will benefit from a reduction in the period before which independently produced programs can feature on other UK TV channels, after their BBC tx.
BBC commercial director Bal Samra said: “This deal will provide real value for license-fee payers, as well as increased access to the BBC content they love, with more opportunities to watch BBC content for longer, find and buy digital programs to keep, and discover gems from the BBC’s archive.”
Pact CEO John McVay added: “The UK’s independent production companies now produce over 40% of television content for the BBC – this is a good deal for the indies that will help UK creative companies to better exploit their programs on other digital platforms and sustain the commercial success of the world’s most successful independent sector.”
Extending the free-to-air catch up window for BBC iPlayer from seven to 30 days, and the proposed BBC Store, are both subject to approval by the broadcaster’s governing board, the BBC Trust.