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Radio 3


The remit of Radio 3 is to offer a mix of music and cultural programming in order to engage and entertain its audience. Around its core proposition of classical music, its speech-based programming should inform and educate the audience about music and culture. Jazz, world music, drama, the arts and ideas, and religious programming should feature in its output.
The station should appeal to listeners of any age seeking to expand their cultural horizons through engagement with the world of music and the arts. 

More information on the remit for Radio 3 can be found here.

Commissioning round updates  

Results of Radio 3's Commissioning Round 1 for 2015/16 (Drama on 3)

The results of Radio 3's Commissioning Round 1 for 2015/16 (Drama on 3) are now available on Proteus - brief feedback on proposals can be found there.
Radio 3 Head of Speech, Matthew Dodd will be happy to discuss the feedback on any of your offers.
Please remember that all commissions are conditional on budgetary, delivery and editorial agreement, and that no commitment should be made, or money spent until they are contracted. 
If you’re involved with programmes for the other speech strands (in Round 2) don’t forget that pre-offers should be submitted by 12 noon on 21st October.

Radio 3 Commissioning Round 2, 2015-16

Commissioning guidelines are now available for Sunday Feature, Between the Ears, The Essay and Specials on Radio 3 for financial year 2015/16. (Please find commissioning briefs under the download section on the right hand side of web page.) 

All proposals should be submitted on the Commissioning website using the following specifications:
Year: 20152016
Round: 2
Brief reference no: as on each of the guidelines
Closing date and time:

PRE-OFFERS, 12 noon Tuesday 21st October 2014,

FULL OFFERS (where and when requested), 12 noon, Tuesday 16th December 2014.

Pre-offers should be a maximum of 200 words in the short synopsis box only - please do not use the full synopsis for these.  But please do include a realistic bottom-line budget in the notes field and a realistic delivery date.

Most of you will have now registered for this process and received instructions and a password for accessing the secure website. If you haven't previously offered to BBC radio, or signed up for this facility, and would like to offer in this round, please let me know as soon as possible.

The decision on whether we would like pre-offers to be further developed will be announced on the site on 11th November - and should you have pre-offers which we would like developed, you are then encouraged to arrange a meeting or phone conversation with Matthew, to develop those ideas.  Please phone 0207 765 3277, or email Yvette Pusey on to arrange and send notes on all ideas before such a meeting to Matthew Dodd (

Although we don’t require hard copies of the offers themselves, where necessary you should send any supporting material to Matthew Dodd, clearly indicating on the online offer exactly what has been sent.  Please also label such material with the title of the offer, commissioning brief, and return address details, and complete and attach the enclosed supporting material inventory.
For full offers, please ensure that a brief summary of the offer is included in the short synopsis section of the proposal as well as full details in the synopsis box.  Please resubmit your amended pre-offers rather than creating a new document.  We don’t need a full breakdown of budgets at this stage, but please ensure that the “bottom-line” figure is a realistic estimate and is entered in the working supplier notes field. Please also take care to enter a realistic delivery date on your offers, as we will use this during the commissioning process to draw up a draft schedule.

Feedback to full offers, in the form of acceptance on to a shortlist, or rejection, will be on the system by Friday 30th January 2015. Once the editorial brief and budget have been finally agreed, contracts will be issued by Radio Commercial and Legal Affairs Department.  No work should be undertaken until the contract has been received. 

If you have any problems with the commissioning system, or questions regarding procedure, please do not hesitate to contact David Ireland ( or on 020 7765 4943. 

Listen to a recording of the Radio 3 Commissioning Open Morning

Radio 3's September Open Morning was hosted by Head of Speech Programming Matthew Dodd. Matthew outlined what the station is looking for now including Sunday Feature, Between The Ears, The Essay and Specials.

Listen to a recording of the event.


Commissioning process

Radio 3's schedule includes a number of long-running strands which are not usually re-commissioned annually. The station usually holds two commissioning rounds each year - one for Drama on 3 and The Wire (opening in May 2013) and the other for the remaining strands available for commission (opening in September). These include Sunday Feature, Music Feature, Between the Ears, The Essay and special events. Please see below for full details of the rounds.

If you wish to hear details regarding the Radio 3 commissioning rounds, you will need to be part of the Radio Independent Supplier Database and indicate that you wish to hear details about Radio 3 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. All interested suppliers will receive copies of the guidelines for the main commissioning rounds and for special tenders.

When a commissioning round opens, editorial briefs, including guide-prices and durations, are sent out to registered suppliers and eligible in-house departments. During the commissioning round, producers are strongly recommended to discuss ideas with the relevant commissioning editor. After offers have been submitted, and the results have been communicated, editorial and budgetary discussions take place around the shortlisted commissions before final confirmation.

The commissioning editors are happy to meet producers and discuss ideas throughout the year, however we will usually only be able to give a general steer in advance of the formal rounds


Further Information

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

Getting In Touch

Initial enquiries should be directed to David Ireland,
Commissions & Schedules Manager
Phone: (020) 7765 4943
Email: David Ireland

Information about contractual and legal aspects of commissioning can be found on the Radio Business Affairs website along with the complaints procedure for independent producers.

Delivery Process

Programmes for Radio 3 should be delivered in accordance with the Radio 3 delivery guidelines (see downloads section on this page).

Want to find out more about BBC Radio 3?

If you would like to know more about BBC Radio 3 programmes, content and schedules, please visit the Radio 3 station website. 




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

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