Channel 4 contracts on the basis of its Code of Practice - approved by OFCOM and PACT - which governs how Channel 4 manages its relationship with Independents. It outlines both what is expected of Channel 4, and what Channel 4 can fairly expect of its suppliers in return. It also outlines the commissioning process.
A detailed Editorial Specification needs to be completed using the online system and once fully approved will be attached to the contract. This should be written by the Producer, agreed with the Commissioning Editor and Production Finance Manager and/or Legal and Business Affairs Manager, and should include inter alia editorial and staffing expectations, and an agreed timetable for production, post-production, viewings and scripts. The Editorial Specification Form should be completed using our Ed Spec System.
Your Manager(s) will notify you of the price the Channel is prepared to offer for the programme based on the agreed Ed Spec. That price will be in line with the tariff of prices for commissioned programmes (see below). If applicable, the budget should be submitted for review in conjunction with the agreed Editorial Specification and contractual terms discussed. Once the deal has been considered the project will be submitted to PFC (Programme Finance Committee) or BAB (Business Approval Board) for approval (refer to Approval of Projects).
Following PFC or BAB approval the contract will be issued and the cash flow agreed. For qualifying independent production companies a standard contract based on the Commissioning Agreement will be issued.
Tariff prices: These are the price ranges which Channel 4 will pay for a particular programme. The tariff prices are dependent on genre of programming and are included within the Code of Practice.
Channel 4 Repeat Fees: for programmes commissioned under the standard Commissioning Agreement referenced above Channel 4 will pay a repeat fee to the producer per programme for the 3rd and subsequent transmission on the Channel 4 Service during the relevant transmission times of:
- Off peak 9:30 - 17:59 - 2%
- Peak 18:00 - 23:29 - 5%
- Night time 23:30 - 09:29 - 1%
of the Channel 4 Licence Fee for the Programme.
NB no repeat fees are payable in respect of any use of the Catch Up TV Rights, Narrative Repeat(s) and/or Timeshift Rights.
Fixed Price Deals: The majority of contracts are agreed on a fixed price basis. The benefits of fixed price deals include flexibility to manage the Channel 4 funding to deliver the programmes as specified. There is minimal bureaucracy and reporting requirements. You get the price we have agreed.
Developments: The process of commissioning developments is broadly similar to that of programmes. You should agree the purpose of the development and the delivery requirements with the Commissioning Editor. You should contact the relevant Production Finance Manager and/or Legal and Business Affairs Manager to discuss the cost of the work and contractual terms. Channel 4 will require security of ownership of rights in the development work and will decide within a 9 month period after full delivery of the development work whether or not to commission the production. Channel 4 does not advance money for developments until the development agreement has been signed.
Channel 4 has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with PACT dated 4th May 2012 and is in the process of consulting with PACT on a new commissioning agreement.