UID numbers are used in all BBC commissioning, scheduling and transmission systems, for public service channels, to track and playout programmes. The UID replaces the Prog ID/Clock number.
It is mandatory that the correct number is used by all suppliers on all submitted tapes (including the programme clock and tape case) and all data forms.
Production must request versions from the transmitting channel. Do not issue your own versions. This will prevent the wrong version of your programme being transmitted.
This number will follow the programme episode for its entire life and is used for all filing, documentation, music reporting, archive and retrieval.
Every programme episode version has its own UID.
UID numbers are available from the
NOTE: Red Bee Media, BBC Resources (post production), and Information & Archives cannot supply these numbers.
e.g. 01 /
e.g. / 01
e.g. 50 /
e.g. / 02
The PREFIX plus CORE NUMBER is called the PROGRAMME NUMBER
The CORE NUMBER plus the SUFFIX is called the UID (PROGRAMME ID NUMBER)
The core number is standard and must be adhered to at all times. It is four letters, followed by three numbers followed by a single letter.
The suffix indicates a version of the episode which has been Technically Reviewed. The suffix 01 is the first version. If a new version of the episode is made after initial version has passed tech review then a new version suffix has to be issued. The suffix will be in the 01-49 range: 01 indicates that this is the first edited version of a complete programme, 02 for the 2nd edited version, etc - these numbers can not be assumed and must be issued by the indie delivery team.
Typical programme ID number with suffix
DRIA419R / 01
Denotes the first edited version of a complete programme
DRIA420K / 02
Denotes the second edited version of a complete programme created after the first version has passed tech review
The rules for the suffix are the same for independents and in-house productions
It is vital that anyone making a new version of a master transmission tape checks on Infax (the BBC tape library system) that they are using the most up-to-date version of the programme. Producers must note that others (such as Signing) will make new versions of their programmes. Similarly, anyone copying or working on another programme's transmission master, must note that productions may have updated, or otherwise re-edited, the master to produce a new version since the original was made.
The CORE part of the Programme Number and the Programme ID Number will not always be the same - a Programme Number might be used to number a strand or series, and different Programme ID Numbers will be used to identify each programme episode within the strand or series. If in doubt, please check with whoever issues your programme numbers.
What the suffix ranges mean:
Rushes, Rough Cuts, Pre Astons and other non broadcast versions
/01 to /49
Broadcast versions on BBC 1 - 4, CBBC or CBeebies, HD, iPlayer. Must be issued by transmitting Channel using OnAir system
/50 to /65
Version numbers for production to use to deliver material to other commissioning partners e.g. WW, Discovery (not recorded in OnAir system)
/70 to /79
Only used on material already delivered before 19th Nov 2007 or current commissions that have not already delivered
/80 to /95
Version numbers for UKTV versions (not recorded in OnAir system)
Acquired Programme source tapes Must be issued by Programme Acquisitions using OnAir system
The correct number must be used by all suppliers on all submitted tapes (including the programme clock and tape case) and all data forms.
If any editing is done on a master transmission tape which has been Technically Reviewed and passed "T" status (transmission status), then the suffix on the UID (see above), must be incremented on the clock and all paperwork. If a security copy of the master tape exists its clock and paperwork will also need to be adjusted. This applies even if the edit is onto the same tape.
ALL edits which affect duration, dialogue (for subtitling) or which are done for legal reasons, must be re-Technically Reviewed, and a new VHS produced and a new UID will need to be issued.
However, if a programme only undertakes a minor edit - which does not affect the duration or the dialogue - there may not need to be a new Technical Review, provided the clock is amended. Those which are agreed by BBC Resources as not requiring a new Technical Review should have this noted on the VTRR (Recording Report) and VHS no new UID is required as long as there are not copies of the original version around. If copies have been made of the original version then no matter however minor the change is a new UID is required.
A dub of a recorded programme which has encoded subtitles added to it should be given a different suffix to the master tape.
PASB recordings will have the suffix of /70 (this will remain if and when it repeats providing it is not edited.)
It is the responsibility of Production to decide which version is to be transmitted, especially when alternative versions exist, and ensure that the VT Clock and paperwork are all 100% accurate when submitted for playout.
TV programmes are numbered and identified for Network and Nations & Regions with a UID.
This is to help everyone in the programme production chain to identify the many different versions in the life of a programme, now that content is made available on so many more platforms for our audiences. As suppliers to BBC production departments you will need to be aware of this.
The UID is made up of two parts:
The core: identifies the programme down to episode level : DRA A479U
The version number (suffix): identifies the version of the episode: /01, /02 (start at /01 and run to /49)
Together they make the UID: DRA A479U/01
Only commissioners will issue UIDs for new commissions. The transmitting Channel will create versions for existing programmes. If a new version is required, the producer must ask the transmitting Channel to generate and issue it.
Production must not increment the version number.
Programmes which have an old format number will keep that number. If a programme with an old format number is now reversioned then the version element will now increment to a /01 i.e. a reversion of a /71 version will be a /01
The new rule is as follows:
If there is no version code below /50 for the episode then indie delivery team will allocate the new version with a /01 suffix.
Example: three versions of an episode exist with the following numbers DRIA413B/71, DRIA413B/72, DRIA413B/73. If this programme is reversioned again it will be given the number DRIA413B/01.
If there is a version code below /50 for the episode then the new version will get the next highest version number.
Example: there are three versions of an episode as follows: DRIA416J/71, DRIA416J/01 and DRIA416J/02. If this programme is reversioned again it will be given the number DRIA416J/03.
The BBC spends over £1 billion each year creating its TV, Radio and bbc.co.uk content. To maximise the value of this content, appropriate media management standards must be applied across all Divisions. BBC Information and Archives sets the minimum standards for achieving this and has responsibility for reporting non-compliance.
BBC policy for TV is as follows: a Master copy of all transmitted Network programmes, whether in-house or independent, should be deposited in the BBC Archive within 5 days of submission (Master and a clone for all BBC1 & 2 peak time transmissions). BBC Regions and Nations output programming may be logged and stored locally, but recorded in the central database. All recordings made are the property of the BBC (unless contractual arrangements indicate otherwise) both broadcast and non-broadcast.
I&A are required to keep all transmitted programmes in the Archive for a minimum of 5 years. In line with the Legal, Historical/Heritage and Charter requirements, transmission tapes that require reversioning must be cloned and the original transmission tape returned to the Archive. New versions can then be reworked from the clone and deposited with the Archive as a new version. The Policy states that all transmitted versions must be maintained in the Archive - regardless of reasons for reversioning.
Additionally there are critical business reasons for supplying separate instances of each reversion. Primarily this is to ensure legal traceability as to what exactly has been broadcast at any time and to ensure correct versions are made available for future transmissions. Maintaining these versions as distinct, separate entities is an absolute necessity in the digital multi-platform environment - where publication and transmission will require separate 'instances' or versions in order to allow automated delivery. Any blurring of this principle in the current 'tape based' environment will severely hamper the re-use of content in the future.
All production areas must comply to this policy. To facilitate this all programmes that require reversioning for whatever reason should adhere to the following process.
1.Order up original TX master from I&A**
2. Produce a clone of the original transmission tape**
3. Return the original TX tape to the I&A**
4. Produce the reversioned copy and send to I&A for accessioning back into the archive as a new version.
5. Advise I&A of any restrictions required for previous versions as appropriate.
**Where independent production companies maintain their own masters, it may not be necessary to order tape from I&A - you can simply conduct the edit on your master and then submit a copy to I&A of the new version.
Please note - you must not conduct any editing/reversioning on any i&a tx master material as this is in direct contradiction of the bbc policies and obligation
I&A need to monitor non compliance and will follow up directly where appropriate. Should you have any issues with adhering to this policy, please contact Maggie Lydon directly to discuss in advance of any work commencing on any TX masters.
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