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Delivery Essentials

Find the key BBC delivery contacts.

Please note: From October 2014 the BBC will begin taking delivery of programmes by file as part of the Digital Production Partnership (DPP) initiative.  

The requirement to deliver by file will be discussed as part of the usual commissioning negotiations. 

If the BBC would like an already commissioned programme to be delivered by file rather than tape the production will be contacted by BBC Delivery teams to discuss this possibility.

If a production is not contacted individually then programmes should continue to be delivered on tape until advised otherwise. Please visit the DPP website for more information about file delivery.

Additional BBC file delivery guidelines will be published in due course.

File delivery ‘how to’ videos can be found on the BBC Academy website where extra resources will be added over time. In addition, visit the site to book a place on one of the File Delivery Made Real training events which are being hosted around the country. 


Technical Standards and Requirements

  • All new programmes must deliver on HD CAM SR Stereo.
  • Archive (repeat) 4:3 programmes should be delivered in SD on Digibeta.
  • Beta SP is not an acceptable format.
  • All programmes transmit off server, therefore it is imperative that the clock shows the correct programme versions.
  • Special attention should be given to clearly document the aspect ratio, as the delivery format will no longer imply this.

The master tape supplied for transmission:

  • Must be accompanied by a recording report
  • Must be editorially and technically compliant before delivery 
  • Must comply with the BBC technical standards as detailed on this page.

The BBC uses the EBU’s Recommendations for HD cameras which can be found on the EBU Technical Website along with the document EBU R118 which gives details of camera criteria and testing. The site also has recommended set-ups for all cameras currently tested.

Cameras usually have a minimum of 3x1/2” sensors or 1x1” and a recording format of a minimum of 50Mbs inter-frame or 100Mbs intra-frame.

BBC In-house staff can find additional information and contacts on the internal Gateway Production Support website.

Further information on HD technical standards and delivery is available on the BBC's Delivering Quality website along with information on BLITS.

Please note: Programmes should continue to be delivered on HDCamSR tape until specific details about file delivery have been given for individual programmes or by the BBC at the time of commission.

Contact for HD Technical Enquiries: Head of Technology, BBC HD & 3D: Andy Quested


When Do You Deliver Tapes/Tape Package?

Type of Programme: When Required:
Non-topical and Open University programmes Required by 5pm on the contracted Delivery Date at the latest
Week Topical Programmes Required by 5pm on the contracted Delivery Date which is 5 days before transmission
Day Before Topical Programmes Required by 10am on the contracted Delivery Date on the day before transmission 
On Day Topical Programmes Required by 12 noon on the contracted Delivery Date on the day of transmission

Tape Delivery and Technical Review

Please note: Programmes should continue to be delivered on HDCamSR tape until specific details about file delivery have been given.

Tapes delivered to the BBC for broadcast must meet the BBC's Technical Standards and a Technical Review will be carried out to assess this.

Independent productions should liaise with the relevant Genre Delivery Unit to arrange tape delivery and Technical Review. 

The Technical Review should only take place once the programme is ready for transmission, with no further editing required. See the section New Versions and Editing Tapes After a Technical Review below for more information.

Independent producers making Open University (OU) programmes should liaise with the OU’s Information and Archive Manager (IAM) to arrange a Technical Review. Find further information about OU delivery.

Download information about the Technical Review and tape delivery for BBC in-house productions.

Common Reasons for Failing the Technical Review
  • Captions out of Caption Safe area
  • PSE issues (strobing or patterning that fails the Harding Photo Sensistive Epilepsy check)
  • Aspect ratio errors for example non-converted 4x3 material added to 16x9 programme
  • Grading errors
  • Gamut errors/high luminance/sub blacks
  • Vision or audio disturbance/concealing
  • Blanking errors
  • Missing/incorrect VITC
  • Flash frames
  • Unrendered/unconformed material
  • Audio holes, very wide dynamic range/level issues, distortion, sync-issues
  • Dolby E errors
  • Audio track allocation errors
  • Information mismatch with tape box/paperwork eg differing UIDs; excessive tech info on clock
  • Absence of recording report
  • No Vertical Interval Time Code on tape

New Versions and Editing Tapes After a Technical Review 

Transmitted master tapes must not be edited for any reason under any circumstances. If re-editing is required before repeat transmission, a new tape must be produced and submitted to the archive under the new version number. 

If a programme has passed its Technical Review but further editing is needed before transmission a new versions must be issued and a new compliance form should be submitted. If a version has failed a Technical Review or a damaged tape is being replaced a new version is not needed. 

Please note: independent production companies should contact their Delivery Co Ordinator/ Indie Delivery Unit or CBBC/CBeebies Schedule Manager who will issue a new version number

In-house productions must not make new versions without the knowledge of Scheduling Teams. 

New versions created without appropriate authorisation will not be transmitted. 

All programmes that require reversioning should adhere to the following process:

  • Produce a clone of the original transmission tape (in-house productions should order the original master tape from BBC Archives and return after cloning). 
  • Produce the reversioned copy and send to BBC Archives for archiving as a new version. 
  • Advise BBC Archives of any restrictions required for previous versions as appropriate. 

All recordings, both broadcast and non-broadcast, are the property of the BBC (unless contractual arrangements indicate otherwise).

You must not conduct any editing/reversioning on any BBC Archives transmission master material as this is in direct contradiction of the BBC policies and obligations.    

Clone Delivery Policy

BBC Archive are required to keep all transmitted programmes for a minimum of five years for research and re-use value and for critical business reasons such as legal traceability and ensuring the correct version of a programme is transmitted. 

All independent productions (including those producing content for CBBC and CBeebies) must submit one master copy to BBC Archive and must retain an exact clone of the delivered master for their own records, this clone may need to be required/referred to in the event of an issue prior to transmission.

All BBC in-house productions must submit two master tapes to the archive. The copies should be for both peak and off peak transmissions and all transmission tape clones should be sent direct to BBC Archive (not Red Bee Media).

BBC Nations and Regions programming may be logged and stored locally but recorded in the central database. 

In additions, a clone is not required for the following output:

  • Programme Acquisitions output
  • Learning Zone output
  • Recorded Sports programmes (eg highlights from earlier, live action) 

If a master tape is re-edited before transmission both tapes should be re-mastered to contain the new edit.

The 'Person Responsible', as nominated in the Contact Details section of the Transmission Form, must be aware of the exact location of the clone copy pre-transmission in case the master tape goes missing during delivery.

Rights and Clearances

Your production agreement with the BBC requires you to clear clips for public service rights as defined in the agreement. 

  • Commercial Music from the transmission which has been cleared under the BBC's music blanket agreements, can be used on and on the BBC's YouTube channel with no additional clearance.
  • Acquired Material: Online rights must be cleared separately for material from another programme or bought in footage
  • Comedy and Drama clips are restricted to a maximum of 2 clips per episode with strict limits on duration due to the relevant underlying rights frameworks. 
  • If you need any assistance in relation to clearance of content, specific advice on short form video or music rights etc, please refer in the first instance to your Business Affairs Manager (BAM).


Help and Advice

The Repeats & Reversioning team or Children's Delivery Team will be able to help with:

  • type of clip that should be chosen
  • what to do if your programme is live, or delivered close to transmission
  • guidance on labelling
  • format options
  • delivery methods

Standby Programmes

  • We may request a standby programme (with recording report) for any programme with potentially sensitive content (eg programmes including plane crashes).
  • This may be agreed at the point of commissioning or at a later stage, closer to transmission.
  • Standby programmes may also be required for live and quick turnaround programmes, and for all programmes not transmitting from the Broadcast Centre Playout area (network programmes) or Scot TX (BBC Scotland programmes).
  • Standbys must be approved by TV Planning & Scheduling (or Commissioning & Scheduling for BBC Scotland programmes), and delivered as a non-topical programme.


Production Script

Production scripts are useful for subtitling purposes and when available should be emailed to the BBC Access Services team on the tape delivery date, or in advance of this date if possible. 

Please inform the Access Services team if a script will be available, even if it is not available immediately. Other information such as running orders may also be useful, please contact the team for further advice. 

Find out more about disability related assistance, advice and support including subtitling services on the Disability section of the BBC Diversity website.


Online Programme Website Deliverables 

Please refer to full Programme Website deliverables.

Please be aware that BBC Worldwide may have different delivery requirements. Please check with your relevant BBC WorldWide contact.

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