We know from discussions with global production groups, distribution companies and international broadcasters that there is a shortage of new scalable formats in the international distribution markets and a high degree of interest in new or original formats that launch in the UK. We are also aware that it is increasingly hard to take risks on new IP and that many slots are filled with returning brands. For international IP to succeed producers need prime slots, marketing and multi series opportunity as well as great ideas and execution. We see part of Channel 4's role as creating opportunity for the UK creative industries and for export IP and we have thought creatively about how we can create a fund to generate that IP and how we can give up some of the normal broadcaster 'controls' to create a higher degree of partnership with producers in order to maximise the chances of international IP success.
Following in the footsteps of the Indie Growth Fund and Channel 4 Ventures (formerly the Commercial Growth Fund), this new initiative will leverage Channel 4’s resources, insight and assets alongside producer expertise. We recognise that critical success components in landing new formats include the taking of enhanced risks, including ones that traditionally broadcasters have not felt able to take.
By Channel 4 and producers working together and pooling our complementary expertise to select new shows for development and production, this will optimise the chances of success, generating commercial returns for both parties.
This innovative new proposal will be accompanied by an equitable approach to the risk/reward ratio in the deals that we will look to make with producers.
Channel 4 is ring-fencing £30 million of incremental content spend to be invested in the Global Format Fund over 2021 and 2022.
Scope and process
- Selected genres within commissioning (Daytime, Factual Entertainment, Features, Entertainment) will have access to incremental funding supplementing their Order Lists, to support selection of candidate properties for development
- Alf Lawrie will co-ordinate a steering group to co-ordinate the initiative. The steering group for the Global Format Fund will be made up of representatives of Commissioning, Channel Management and Commercial Affairs
- All ideas put forward by relevant Heads of Department for Global Format Fund funding will be considered by this group before the Director of Programmes makes the final commissioning decision
- Briefs for the 2021 Global Format Fund slots are now published and can be found in the links below. An initial commissioning round for these slots will take place in January/February with ideas to be submitted by 18 January 2021 to relevant genres. Commissioning decisions on these pitches will be taken by the end of February 2021
- All ideas will be considered in context of the creative components of potential formattable shows designed best to resonate to audiences in the UK and in international markets and their likely contribution to both Channel 4 audience share and international format sales
- Please contact the Head of Department in the relevant genre if you’d like to know more
- As per current Terms of Trade save that all net receipts from producer exploitation (including format fees), shared equally between the Producer and Channel 4
- Channel 4 commits to precise schedule slots, minimum run lengths, and clearly identified tariffs upfront (see below for 2021) to aid international sales. Slots are selected on the basis that they have the potential to drive IP revenue
- Channel 4 will provide onscreen and other marketing support including social above a standard Channel 4 campaign to a guaranteed minimum level of potential audience reach of targeting at least 25 million people
- Channel 4 will actively engage with Producers in supporting international sales efforts, e.g. by providing audience research and insight, marketing expertise, helping create materials, participating in sales pitches
- Channel 4 will provide a two-series commitment at outset(providing second series meets three or more of the following criteria – i.e. Channel 4 can only opt out of second series if three of the below are not met):
- Individual share performance vs TX slot average with -15% margin
- Individual share performance vs Mon-Sun slot average with -15% margin
- 16-34 share vs TX slot average with -15% margin
- All 4 views - average views per episode with -15% margin within genre benchmark (all platforms, 0-7 days)
- Linear retention – final episode volume must be within -15% of launch episode volume
Criteria based on consolidated figures, criteria 1-4 looking at series average
For more details please click here