BBC and Pact agree new deal for iPlayer streaming
Staff Reporter | On 08, May 2020
The BBC and Pact have reached a new terms of trade deal, after criticism of the Beeb’s plans to extend its iPlayer window.
The industry body Pact raised concerns that independent producers were not being given a choice in the Beeb’s plans to transform iPlayer and extend the length of time programmes are available to stream for from 30 days to 12 months. The concerns arose as the Beeb also juggled its plans to expand iPlayer’s library while also transitioning content to BritBox, its joint venture with ITV.
Now, a new deal has been finalised, with the BBC receiving an automatic 12-month BBC iPlayer window on all content it commissions within its initial payment. The agreement also sets out fixed rates for exclusive and non-exclusive extensions to the iPlayer window beyond 12 months, except where otherwise agreed as part of the funding arrangements for the production. (Currently content is only guaranteed to be on iPlayer for 30 days, unless by separate negotiation.)
For independent producers this deal sets a clear framework across genres, providing certainty of payments for use beyond 12 months. In addition, the BBC will pay the producer sooner to extend the licence period if the additional iPlayer windows are taken up beyond 12 months.
Producers will also see greater revenue streams as a result of the BBC share of net receipts from sales being reduced to 10 per cent (except in the UK during the term where it is reduced to 20 per cent).
Tony Hall, BBC Director-General, says: “This is an important deal for the BBC, the industry, and the wider public. Not only have we reaffirmed our commitment to supporting independent UK producers, we have also ensured licence fee payers have access to the best content for at least a year on BBC iPlayer. Everybody wins.”
Sara Geater, all3media COO and Pact Chair, adds: “The terms of trade are the lifeblood of the UK indie sector and I’m delighted we have reached a mutually beneficial agreement with the BBC which gives them the flexibility to increase exploitation of the programmes across iPlayer as well as their linear services.
“This is obviously crucial at a time of increased competition from the global SVOD players. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the BBC team for their positive engagement”.
John Mcvay, Pact Chief Executive, comments: “Pact has worked hard over many months to ensure that the BBC understood that indies deserve to be paid fairly for their content to be used for additional periods on iPlayer.”
The new terms of trade will come into force as soon as possible and will apply to entirely new commissions from Monday 11th May.