BBC COMMISSIONINGBBC - Commissioning - A new operational model for external online supply

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A new operational model for external online supply

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Doing Business with BBC Online (Jane McCloskey and Ralph Rivera)

Jane McCloskey, Head of External Supply, BBC Commissioning

At today’s BBC Online day at BAFTA, I updated our supplier partners on our progress in improving how we manage our commissioning process. There’s a number of separate strands here related to external supply:

Long-term strategy

We are working with the BBC Trust to develop a longer-term strategy for external supply. Meeting our quota is part of it, as is improving our business processes, but this is more about ensuring we are making the most of the huge potential supplier base that exists outside the BBC to make BBC Online as good as it can be for the audience.

This is an ongoing piece of work, dialogue with the industry is critical, but the developing strategy is not the focus of what I’ve said today.

Results of the pilot at the end of last year

As the BBC Trust said in January, we’re meeting our quota (we met our target of £19.5m in external spend in 2010/11) but the process for commissioning is in need of attention. We’ve known this for some time, and having carried out a pilot the previous November, and consulted a cross-section of suppliers and other partners on what the results were in the Spring.

An operational model for 2011/12

Tech Roster

As we’ve said previously, we’re abolishing the existing roster which had in effect become more of a “whitelist” for any BBC Online commissions, in favour of a smaller technology roster – from which we’ll tender bigger technology commissions.

Editorial commissioning

BBC Vision announced at the end of May that independent “multiplatform” commissioning in TV will be evolved into a more integrated model (where channel and genre heads award commissions as part of a more converged linear+online offer). See Victoria Jaye and Saul Nasse’s blogs for details. 

I outlined who to pitch to under this new model, as well as our plans to publish and publicise commissioning opportunities in advance (clear briefs with clear budgets).

Today, we’re publishing the BBC Online external events calendar to show when key engagement points for working with us will occur. We also plan to host a specialist platform day in August to provide some training for working with our technical platform. Please take

Together with the tech roster, we now have a clear operational model for commissioning to see us through 2011/12 – and hope the dialogue with partners that helped shape it continues as we work with the Trust on our strategy for 2012/13 and beyond.

You can read more about the changes and watch more videos of the presentations from the BBC Online Industry briefing on the BBC internet blog and view the video below.

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