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OU Delivery Requirements and Publicity Guidelines

The Open University (OU) works in partnership with the BBC to co-fund programmes from in-house and independent suppliers totalling around 30 ‘Learning Journey’ projects a year across all BBC TV channels and radio stations. Find out more in the Open University: What We're Looking For section

Note: ‘Learning Journey’ means the educational journey that enhances and enriches the broadcast experience that the viewer takes after watching or listening to the programme.

Production Process

The BBC and The OU wish to combine the best of both organisations’ resources and talents to reach the widest possible audience with innovative, exciting and inspiring content.

The OU, through its nominated academic/s, will provide regular input into the production process, including reasonable attendance at production team meetings.

All ‘Learning Journey’ projects shall include a request made to the audience to continue the ‘Learning Journey’ by accessing free complementary materials produced by The OU. The call-to-action will be collaboratively agreed in advance of the online edit. See the OU Branding section for more information.

Programme makers should refer to the relevant BBC Knowledge Commissioning team or the key contact for the Open University.

Find more details on the Working with The OU FAQ for Production document. 

Notes for Production

1. All OU deliverable requirements should be met from within the production budget.

2. All deliverables set out below form part of the contract and should be provided in full within the allotted schedule period.

3. Production are responsible for planning for and incorporating the tape and publicity requirements in their post-production schedule.

4. All products and paperwork must be correctly identified using the following information:

  • Strand Title (as shown on P4A)
  • Programme Title
  • BBC Programme UID number eg FKA C161W/01 (TX Version)
  • BBC Programme UID number eg FKA C161W/60 (OU ‘Learning Journey’ Version)
  • Production Company
  • Final Duration

5. Date of Technical or QAR Review (for products only) BBC unique identifiers (UIDs) will be issued for each programme by the BBC Genre Business Co-ordinator, TV Management & Support Services.

6. Further information on the commissioning process and content opportunities can be found in the What We Want section.

Delivery Requirements

The Open University 'Learning Journey' deliverables form part of the contract. These include tape, publicity/web and paperwork requirements.

Tape Requirements 

BBC TX Version

1 x Clone of BBC TX version (HD or SD as per TX master). This will be an OU archive copy of the programme as broadcast, not for OU exploitation

  • No QAR necessary
  • No BBC Technical Review 
  • No clearances necessary
  • Delivery to OU should take place on the agreed delivery date
  • VISION: 16.9 FF (or 16:9 FHA if SD delivery) 
  • AUDIO: Final Mix on tracks one and two, Music and Effects on tracks three and four (final mix minus narration)

9 x DVDs without timecode (OU library copy, OMU Library loan copies, OMU copy, OU Media Relations copies).

OU 'Learning Journey' Version

HD Delivery

  • 1 x High Definition HDCAM SR Master (For OU staff, student and course use.)

SD Delivery (where BBC TX Master is SD)

  • 1 x Standard Definition DIGIBETA Master (For OU staff, student and course use.) 

For the OU ‘Learning Journey’ versions, the following applies:

  • All references to call to action, trailer for following programmes and websites removed. These versions should also have time-specific references removed. (The programme should still work editorially).
  • Quality Assessment Review (QAR): compliant to BBC approved standard with recording report. 
  • Delivery to OU should take place on the agreed delivery date.
  • VISION: 16.9 FF or 16:9 FHA if SD delivery.
  • AUDIO: Final Mix on tracks one and two: Music and Effects on tracks three and four (final mix minus narration)
  • OU ‘Learning Journey’ version will include clean elements (ie clean of English language text) to be placed on the end of tape after one minute of recorded black and silence on tape and supplied with at least 10 frames of surplus material either side of required sequence (handles). Clean elements to include:

1. Title sequence clean of any English language text

2. All sequences with captions/collage/idents etc in the lower third of the screen

3. All graphic sequences that include English language text

4. Any in-vision subtitles with the exception of bought in footage (ie commercial films). Please discuss with The Open Media’s Unit Broadcast Project Manager any programmes containing large amounts of sub-titling for foreign language translations.

5. Sequence that contains “BBC” ID logo within the opening of the programme.

6. End credits: the closing credit sequence should be clear of text when over picture

2 x DVDs* without timecode
1 x DVD* with burnt-in timecode

*DVDs to include clock and programme only. No bars or cleans on the end.

Broadcast Wavs

AUDIO tracks to be provided by dubbing mixer

  • M+E (stereo) undipped
  • FX, Atmos and Foley (stereo)
  • Music only (stereo)
  • Sync Dialogue (mono)
  • Commentary / VO (mono)

Please contact the OU’s Information and Archive Manager (IAM) with any queries regarding OU Tape requirements.


OU Publicity and Web Requirements

  • DVDS: OU Media Relations and OU Marketing will use the DVD copies delivered from the BBC UK TX Version detailed above.
  • Programme/series title graphic supplied as high quality JPEG or TIF file to Broadcast Project Manager, OMU
  • Series title logo on plain background
  • Image grab of series title card as appears within finished programme
  • Programme/series outline: Approx. 300 - 400 words
  • Individual programme summary: Approx. 250 – 300 words

Publicity Stills

Production will provide a minimum of five (unless otherwise agreed with production) high quality colour original images for each of the programmes in advance of transmission. To include programme generic images and where applicable programme presenter. Within the stills delivery some of the key images must be in portrait format.

The images must be provided digitally as JPEG files scanned at a minimum of 300dpi or TIF files at a minimum size of 8mb. If production is unable to supply to this standard then a professional photographer must be engaged to capture the images. 

Screen grabs taken from the master are not acceptable.

All photographs should be fully cleared of copyright and artists restrictions including moral rights. The BBC or the OU may also commission its own Photographer subject to agreement with the producer.

All names of Presenters and Contributors should be identified.

Paperwork Requirements for OU ‘Learning Journey’ Version

The following are to be delivered two weeks following technical or QAR review unless agreed otherwise:

  • Deliver the P as C and Music reporting form, as entered on BBC P4A, as attached web pages and email to OMU’s IAM.  Independent productions to email a Word (1997-2003) document. Find general details about delivery forms on the Paperwork page.
  • Final Transcripts in a Microsoft Word (1997-2003) document with timecode references, all speaker/s clearly identified and the programme credit list included and emailed to the OMU's IAM. A downloadable OU Final transcript template is available. 
  • Billings Form as entered on BBC P4A to be emailed to OU's IAM.  
  • As all materials are delivered to OU fully pre-cleared for OU educational use, no supporting contractual paperwork is required.

You can find a full list of deliverables on the Open University Delivery Requirements PDF

Key delivery contacts for The Open University can be found in Who's Who

Page updated on 20 February 2015

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