The BBC has agreed new terms for commissioning independent productions with UK trade association Pact (Producers Alliance for Cinema and Television).
The deal, which the BBC hailed as “ground-breaking,” includes the extension of the BBC iPlayer window from seven to 30 days, following BBC director general Tony Hall’s plan, announced last week, to launch an enhanced version of the iPlayer service.
The new deal also includes terms for the BBC Store – another newly announced BBC venture that will see the corporation let viewers buy BBC content from a broader digital video library.
“The agreement will result in the BBC and the creative sector working in even closer partnership. Independent production companies will benefit from digital rights being available to the wider market from first broadcast and a reduction in the period before which independently produced programmes can feature on other UK television channels,” said the BBC in a statement.
The corporation claims that more than 90% of BBC content produced each year is unavailable for audiences after it is aired – something that it hopes to address with the new BBC Store.
“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 programmes on other digital platforms and sustain the commercial success of the world’s most successful Independent sector,” said Pact CEO John McVay.
Bal Samra, commercial director at the BBC, added: “We are delighted to have agreed this ground-breaking deal between the BBC, Pact and the independent sector, extending our partnership and providing new opportunities that will act as a digital catalyst for the whole industry.”
The BBC’s plans to extend the free-to-air catch up window for BBC iPlayer from seven to 30 days and launch the BBC Store are both still subject to approval by its governing body, the BBC Trust.