Red Button delivery
Note: Red Button content will now be delivered by SD file following standard BBC delivery guidelines.
Please contact the Red Button Editorial Manager with any enquiries. Contact details for Red Button and TV delivery teams can be found on the contacts page.
A Red Button commission is reflected in the Commissioning specification by the inclusion of a letter of amendment and an additional schedule (Schedule 9: New Media Deliverables). The amendment letter will state the Red Button delivery date.
Red Button content must be delivered to the same network TV standards as all other TV content. However, Red Button programmes must be delivered in SD and not HD.
A CBIS line may need to be booked for the delivery of live content, details of which should be communicated to the Red Button Editorial Manager.
The following information is for independent production companies making Red Button content for the BBC.
Independent production companies should deliver all Red Button assets and related content to the Indie Delivery Unit except when directed otherwise by the commissioning specification. This includes the Billing form, Compliance form and Transmission form. See the Paperwork section further down this page for more information.
The Indie Delivery Unit will provide the programme UID and any further information.
NB If the programme is going to be on BBC iPlayer and red button the programme file will need different suffixes for the HD and SD versions.
Contact details for Red Button and TV delivery teams can be found on the TV contacts page.
The Red Button programme title appearing on the clock should include the linear programme title and Red Button episode number. For example, Dragons’ Den Red Button: Episode 1. This title should be used on the tape and tape box.
A 30 second countdown should be included at the beginning of the programme to help avoid viewers missing the beginning of the Red Button programme.
Please inform the Red Button Editorial Manager asap if the programme contains flashing images, swearing, violence or might require any guidance warning. Please refer to the BBC’s Editorial Guidelines for guidance.
Programmes should fade to black and not end on a freeze of the last frame as pre-recorded Red Button programmes are often looped.
There are no requirements to add credits to Red Button programmes. If desired, please follow the same guidelines for linear delivery although Red Button programme credits are not squeezed.
Independent production companies should confirm with the Red Button Editorial Manager if bespoke design and branding is required.
If bespoke branding and graphics are required, the following assets must be supplied to the Red Button Producer three weeks before transmission:
- A layered Photoshop file of any branding or logos and any brands style guides that are available for the service.
- Any fonts relevant to the brand.
- One portrait landscape image, preferably of a presenter or lead character looking to camera.
- One landscape image representing the whole programme.
- If the Red Button programme is to be transmitted on BBC iPlayer: One landscape image for each episode and one image for the series.
Assets provided will be used for triggers:
The graphic that appears in the top right of the screen to prompt the viewer to press red. There are limitations on text length and colour palettes.
Bridge link graphic and text
The text that appears on the Red Button bridge menu when a viewer presses red and links to the video content. There are limitations on text length.
For Red Button plus on connect TVs an image is required for the menu. The image required should be portrait shaped and ideally feature a main character, presenter or a logo.
Schedule 9 lists all paperwork which must be completed and delivered for a Red Button commission.
The following paperwork should be completed as per normal linear commissions and sent to the Indie Delivery Unit:
Using the standard Television billing form template to be delivered three weeks before transmission. To be completed as per normal linear commission. An introduction to the Red Button service should be included on the billing form. See the marketing and promotion section of this page for more information.
Download the billing form from the Publicity page.
This contains emergency production contact information and any gallery or OB numbers. The Indie Delivery Unit will send a copy of this form to the production which should be completed and returned to them seven days before transmission.
(Sometimes referred to as the TX form or first transmission form.) A version emailed to the Indie Delivery Unit and an additional version included in the tape box when delivering the final programme. To be completed as per normal linear commission on programme delivery date.
Download the Transmission form from the Technical requirements page.
Programme as completed (P as C) form
To be completed as per normal transmission on programme delivery date.
Download the Programme as completed form from the Archive, rights and clearances section.
Music reporting form
To be completed as per normal transmission on programme delivery date.
Download the Music reporting form from the Archive, rights and clearances section.
An additional compliance form is needed for original Red Button content before transmission. To be completed as per normal linear commission. The form should be sent to the Indie Delivery Unit and signed off by the Commissioner on the programme delivery date.
If a Red Button programme is an edited version of an already transmitted programme and does not change the context of the content of the programme then an additional compliance form is not needed.
An additional compliance form is not required for live Red Button content but guidance should be provided if any BBC Editorial Guidelines are likely to be affected in the live transmission.
Download and find out more about completing the Compliance form on the Compliance for TV and Online page.
An editorial introduction to the programme explaining the content for viewers is required. For example, a brief introduction from the main Presenter often works well for non-Drama programmes. A 30 second countdown with text explaining what’s coming up in the programme can also be successful. This should be discussed at the point of commission.
Calls to action recorded within a network programme
If a call to action is being recorded for a Red Button programme within a network programme an additional version of the network programme must be delivered without the call to action. This should be delivered at the same time as the original programme version by the same means. The cost should be agreed at the point of commission.
If there is a schedule change or repeat, bandwidth may be unavailable to broadcast the Red Button programme and therefore the original version without the call to action will be broadcast.
Call to action by continuity announcer during end credits: promotion over linear end credits will be requested by the Red Button Editorial Manager once the linear TV schedule is finalised. Any promotion using video content or script requests should be arranged through the Red Button Editorial Manager further in advance to allow time for Creative and Marketing to prepare and deliver the trail.
Red Button junctions
Programme trails may be played out between Red Button programmes and can be arranged by the Red Button Editorial Manager.
Independent production companies can request audience figures from the Red Button Editorial Manager.
The Red Button Editorial Manager will inform the production of any issues reported.
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