The following information is for Independent production companies making Red Button content for the BBC. For BBC In-house Red Button Delivery please download the attached document.
All Red Button content is commissioned through TV Genre Commissioners. Please see the BBC iPlayer: What We’re Looking For pages for more information.
A Red Button commission is reflected in the TV 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.
Download an example Schedule and Letter of Amendment.
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 TX/First 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.
Red Button content must be delivered to the same network TV standards as all other TV content. However, Red Button programmes must be delivered on SD digibeta and not HD.
The programme must also pass the BBC Technical Review. Please see the Delivery Essentials page for more information.
Please note, as for network commissions, a clone of the final programme must be retained by the production.
Live delivery: A CBIS line may need to be booked for the delivery of live content, details of which should be communicated to the Red Button Producer.
Programme title: 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.
Introduction: 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.
Editorial Guidelines: Please inform the Red Button Producer 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.
End frame: Programmes should fade to black and not end on a freeze of the last frame as pre-recorded Red Button programmes are often looped.
Credits: 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 Producer 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:
Assets provided will be used for triggers and bridge graphics:
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 and small circular image that appear on the Red Button bridge menu when a viewer presses red and links to video content and further text. There are limitations on text length and colour palettes.
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:
The following paperwork should be supplied to the Indie Delivery Unit to be signed off by the Commissioner on the programme delivery date:
An additional compliance form is needed for original Red Button content before transmission. To be completed as per normal linear commission.
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.
Find out more about completing the Compliance form.
Introduction: An editorial introduction to the programme is required explaining the content for viewers. 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 Producer once the linear TV schedule is finalised. Any promotion using video content or script requests should be arranged through the Red Button Producer further in advance to allow time for Red Bee 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 Producer.
Viewing figures: Indies can request audience figures from the Red Button Producer.
Technical reports: The Red Button Producer will inform the production of any issues reported.
Find contacts who work within Red Button production and delivery.
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