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Radio 5 live



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  and read our remit BBC Radio 5 Live Remit.

Commissioning News

Commissioning Information

‘5 live 2015/2016’ Commissioning Round

• Round Opens Thursday February 5th 2015
• Round Closes Thursday February 26th @ 12 noon

The commissioning round brief can be found under the download section on the right hand side.

If you have any questions in please feel free to get in touch with 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.
Further Information

You can also find a glossary of frequently used terms for the BBC radio commissioning process on the FAQ page.


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.

Contacts and Links

Controller, Jonathan Wall
Tel: 0161 33 56723
Email: Jonathan Wall

Managing Editor, Paul Blakeley
Tel: 0161 33 56717
Email: Paul Blakeley

Commissioning Editor, Richard Maddock
Tel: 0161 33 56716
Email: Richard Maddock  





The BBC Radio business, legal and rights requirements
How BBC Radio commissions programmes
Contact Information and Archives for programme research

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