BBC, Pact change children’s programming trade terms

The BBC will have a guaranteed four-year linear and on-demand rights window on all new kids commissions starting in January.
December 4, 2020

BBC and Pact, the trade association representing the commercial interests of UK indies, have agreed to new deal terms for all children’s programming commissioned by the BBC.

The agreement gives the BBC a guaranteed four-year period of flexible use for any children’s show commissioned for its public service platforms, starting with the initial payment made to indie producers. This includes on-demand and linear platforms.

If the Beeb wants to keep using the programming after the four years are up, then it needs to make additional payments to the producer. Any show that is reupped for more seasons will get a payment of 1% per year, which will continue every year that it is a returning brand.

And for shows that don’t get renewed, the BBC is entitled to make the 1% annual payment for three additional years after the four-year period. And getting exclusive rights to the show for those additional three years will cost an extra 1% per year.

These changes are part of an effort to keep up with rapidly evolving audience habits, according to the BBC. This also means viewers will have access to all episodes of a show through the Beeb’s iPlayer on-demand platform for at least four years, which is a much bigger window than the current 30 days.

The new terms come into effect for all new commissions as of January 1.

Last year, media regulator Ofcom announced that it would allow the BBC to keep shows on iPlayer for up to year, and up to five years in the case of kids content. At the time, however, the deal hadn’t been ratified by producers or Pact.

About The Author
Alexandra Whyte is Kidscreen's News & Social Media Editor. Contact her at


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