5 live is BBC Radio's home of live news and sport. We bring our audience major news stories and sports events as they happen, and we provide context through wide-ranging analysis and discussion.

5 live is designed to inform, entertain and involve. We are the interactive station and of our most powerful and original content is driven by our listeners.

5 live is ground breaking and committed to innovation and digital growth. Innovative production, format, and talent ideas will be central to any successful commissioning pitch.

For a flavour of 5 live listen to us on the 909/693 AM, Digital Radio, Digital TV and Online at http://www.bbc.co.uk/5live/ and read our remit on the BBC Trust website.

Please see the audience production resource page for an overview of the latest RAJAR results, for Radio 5 live and Radio 5 live sports extra.

Anybody wishing to work with Radio 5 live must read and follow the Radio 5 live Style Guide (PDF)  


Commissioning opportunities

5 live Rugby League - expression of interest

BBC Radio 5 live is opening up its 5 live Rugby League programme for commission for the 2017 Super League season.

The programme has been on air predominately on 5 live sports extra for the last three seasons from 7.30pm to 10.30pm on Thursday and/or Friday nights (with occasional exceptions). The matches are primarily Super League and Challenge Cup.

The commission will be a two year deal to provide live commentaries and pre and post-match content for a minimum of 105 programmes over the two years from the start of the season in February 2017. The programme will need to be produced and engineered from within the ground by the production team.

The commission is open to independent production companies and BBC in-house in the WoCC.

If you would like to register an 'expression of interest' please email Commissioning Editor Richard Maddock by noon on 5 October 2016. Further details will be made available at a later date. 


5 live Ad Hoc 2017 commissioning round

We are looking for ad hoc ideas for 5 live to broadcast in 2017. We are particularly interested in hearing ideas that create unique and memorable ‘moments’ on air and demonstrate strong ‘news’ credentials. We are open to all ambitious ideas that work either within the traditional schedule or take the station into new and exciting territories. We want suggestions that create ‘must-listen’ radio.

Download the full brief (PDF)

All submissions should be made in Proteus before the round closes. 

Round opens 3 October 2016

Round closes 8 December 2016 at 12 noon

We will aim to feedback to all ideas via Proteus by 6 January 2017

Should you have any questions please contact Commissioning Editor Richard Maddock.


The 5 live commissioning process

Most of our daily output is produced by BBC News and BBC Sport. Outside that, we commission the following main types of programming:


Long-term strands or series

These are commissions which typically run in 'seasons' throughout the year. Current examples include 606, Fighting Talk and Formula 1. Details of any open commissioning rounds for such programmes will be published here.


Ad-hoc ideas throughout the year

These are relatively rare, and the budget we can dedicate to them is fairly small. But we value innovation and originality, and we have a flexible schedule which can respond quickly - so we are always keen to listen to ideas which fall outside the formal commissioning process detailed above.

In the first instance, if you have a specific idea for a 5 live programme, you should contact the Commissioning Editor. You may then be asked to come and pitch your idea in person. Any resulting commission would be on the Terms of Trade described below.

If you wish to hear details regarding the Radio 5 Live commissioning rounds when they are announced, you will need to be part of the Radio Independent Supplier Database and indicate that you wish to hear details about Radio 5 Live and its strands.

If you are an independent company wishing to join the list, please complete a Pro Forma (see downloads section) and email it to Radio Commissioning Enquiries who can set you up on the system.

5 live is proud of its work with the independent production sector. Some of the station's most well known shows including Fighting Talk and 606 are produced by indies.



The process of inviting and selecting tenders for production of 5 Live programmes will generally follow this timetable.



TX minus 14 weeks

Notice of Tender and detailed Commissioning Brief issued. This will explain the process, make it clear who can pitch, provide clear guidance on a) the editorial, audience and price requirements b) how to write and submit proposals c) what the BBC expects the proposed price to reflect in terms of rights and any new media content and/or metadata.


TX minus 12 weeks


Shortlist announced, and pitches invited



TX minus 10 weeks 


Decision announced, and feedback offered



Promptly thereafter


Conclusion of a programme production agreement on the Terms of Trade agreed with the independent production sector. Details of these (including information on underlying Rights, Health & Safety requirements and the BBC's complaints procedure) can be found on the Business Affairs website


In some circumstances, we may run a small 'quick-fire' commissioning round, in reaction to an event, story, or late schedule change. This would follow the same structure, but would move at a faster pace, on a 'restricted supplier' basis (limited to independents who already produce for 5 Live). This would only apply for short-run or one-off commissions.


Programme-makers are advised to read information on the How to pitchHow we do business and Delivery timeline pages before submitting proposals.


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