Who we are and how we commission

This page covers the commissioning processes for BBC Content, which includes the television commissioning teams, channel teams for BBC One, Two, Three and Four and BBC Sport and iPlayer.

Our commissioning priorities for each genre and the relevant commissioners are identified on the TV genre pages which can be navigated to from the TV homepage, or find out more about the BBC senior team on the Inside the BBC website.

Visit the delivery timeline for a complete breakdown of programme delivery requirements, the production handbook for information about all aspects of TV production and find further delivery and production contacts across BBC Content and Children's on the contacts page. See the How we do business page for the code of practice, business framework and information about the programme production agreement and commissioning specification. 

Still can't find what you need? Visit the site A-Z.

Visit the Online section of the commissioning site to find out more about pitching games, apps and digital technology ideas.

Skip to information about the latest BBC Content tenders

Content commissioning team

Charlotte Moore

Charlotte Moore

Director, BBC Content (and BBC One)

Charlotte is responsible for the creative vision across the portfolio of channels, BBC iPlayer and genres and has oversight of BBC Sport.

BBC factual commissioning has points of contact for producers and partners in specific parts of the UK. These leads help to support and champion local ideas, talent, portrayal and partnerships, working closely with the sub-genre commissioning teams.

 

Further support for producers

Lucy wilmore

 

 

Lucy Willmore, Business Partner, Commissioning Supply

Lucy is the central contact within the Commissioning Supply team for  producers who need advice or guidance on working with BBC Content, especially smaller producers or those out of London. Lucy does not commission content and any ideas should be sent directly to commissioning teams via BBC Pitch. Members of the public and those unaffiliated with a production company should visit the Ideas from the public page for relevant contact information.

Contact Lucy

 

Babita bahal 600

 

 

Babita Bahal, Diversity and Inclusion Lead, BBC Content

Visit the Diversity page to find out more about funding, support and additional contacts.

 

 

Helen blenkinsop

 

Helen Blenkinsop, Head of Business, Commissioning Supply, BBC Content

Contact Helen for advice and support around BBC Content contestability and tenders

The commissioning process

Members of the public not affiliated with an independent production company should visit the Ideas from the public page.

The commissioning process as outlined here is for independent production companies, BBC Studios and BBC in-house teams making content for BBC television. Other areas of the BBC commission content via alternative processes, please see the Radio and Online sections of this website for further information.

The commissioning process aims to be fair and transparent, introducing competition for its television programming to ensure the best ideas are commissioned for our audiences.

BBC television operates via genre based commissioning and is a collaboration between the channels and genres. Each year, the channels and genres ensure a plan is in place which delivers all of the BBC’s quotas and targets.

Suppliers can find information about the types of programmes the genres are looking for now along with the names of relevant commissioners from the TV homepage. Programme tariffs can be downloaded from the How we do business page.

Programme ideas for BBC television must be submitted to the genres via the online proposal system BBC Pitch. The BBC will treat all proposals as confidential. We have signed up to the Alliance for the protection of copyright (APC) code of practice (PDF) and using Pitch allows us to comply with our commitments.

An idea submitted to BBC Pitch will first be looked at by the relevant genre. If they think it meets with their current priorities, they may ask the producer to develop it further.

The BBC will ensure there is clear separation between commissioning teams, BBC Studios and BBC in-house production.

Fair dealings across all suppliers will be reviewed and monitored, including the time taken to acknowledge receipt of and to respond to ideas. These timescales are:

  • The receipt of new ideas submitted to BBC Pitch will be automatically acknowledged within one week.
  • The initial decision to reject a submitted idea or take discussions further will be made within six weeks of submission.
  • A final decision to commission an idea will be made within 20 weeks of submission unless the project is taken into paid development (or unless part of a formal tender process where timelines will be specified at the start).
  • If a project is in paid development and the producer is waiting for a commissioning decision, producers will be regularly updated on progress, either every two weeks or with a clear timeframe and explanation of when the next update will be.
  • Completion of contract negotiation following a commissioning decision will be undertaken in an appropriate and timely manner for all suppliers.

These timescales may need to be varied from time to time on individual projects for project specific reasons (for example due to access or talent availability), but the producer will be kept updated on progress and any necessary variations will be openly identified and discussed.

Read the commissioning process framework (PDF).

 

How to submit programme ideas

Programme ideas must be submitted to the BBC via the online proposal system BBC Pitch. The system is designed to simplify the process of managing and tracking proposals and allows the BBC to monitor whether it is correctly operating within the code of practice timeframes. The Pitch page provides full details on requirements, user guides and registration requests for the system. Invitations to tender will include details on how to submit the tender bid proposals.

Within BBC Pitch, ideas must be submitted to a specific genre and commissioner. The commissioners within each genre are listed on the Television genre commissioning pages

Copyright: The BBC is a signatory to the updated APC code of practice (PDF) providing guidance around submission and handling of proposals for all types of broadcast and online content. Please visit the BBC Copyright Aware website for more information about copyright. This code forms part of the BBC Pitch terms and conditions which should be read before registering for the system.

Please note: members of the public not affiliated with an independent production company will not be able to submit programme ideas via BBC Pitch. Please visit the Ideas from the public page to find alternative ways to get in touch. 

 

How we want to work with suppliers

The BBC is committed to working with a broad and diverse range of suppliers across the UK. In order to deliver distinctive world-class content for our audiences, suppliers will be commissioned on the quality and relevance of their idea, its fit with current editorial strategy, and the supplier’s ability to deliver.

The BBC wants to make sure suppliers bring us the best ideas for our audiences.

The BBC is committed to making commissioning decisions as fast as possible: entering into a dynamic and respectful dialogue with producers whose ideas are in play.

The creative dialogue will evolve through conversations with both the channel and genre and will be managed by the genre commissioning editor. 

One-to-one meetings with commissioners will be at the discretion of the relevant commissioning department to discuss ideas that meet current needs. Meetings with BBC commissioners will be based on the ideas submitted through Pitch, taking into account the track record and experience of the supplier or the talent behind the idea.  Commissioning briefs are openly available on the website and suppliers should not expect to use meetings with commissioners purely to be briefed. 

The BBC will provide its suppliers with access to business information and commissioning staff commensurate with their status as a supplier and not determined by whether they are a qualifying independent, non-qualifying independent, in-house or BBC Studios production team.

Commissions will be awarded on the strength of the submitted idea and not the order they are submitted, taking into account the quality and price of the proposal and proven ability of the supplier to deliver.

We ask suppliers for feedback through an annual survey.  

The BBC is committed to paying a real Living Wage. All suppliers making programmes for the BBC are required to commit to paying their production personnel (those working directly on a production) the appropriate Living Wage during their contract, according to the location of their work. The rate of the Living Wage the BBC is taking as a benchmark is set out by the Living Wage Foundation

The Business Affairs charter governs the BBC’s business affairs dealings with independent production companies. Download the Business Affairs charter (PDF).

 

Tendering

In addition to the network genre needs there are also further commissioning opportunities available for suppliers. 

Competitive tenders – BBC contestability

A competitive tender is where the BBC invites production companies to pitch for the opportunity to make an existing returning series on a ‘work for hire’ basis.

Since 2016 the BBC has been putting all new business out to competition, and tendering a number of  returning network television series made by BBC Studios as part of its commitments in the BBC Charter. This sets out that 100% of relevant television content should be open to competition by the end of 2027.

In addition to tendered opportunities, hundreds of additional hours of programming have been made available for producers to pitch for as part of the normal commissioning process.

The tender opportunities will be open to any independent production company who meet the eligibility criteria and BBC Studios. These criteria will vary by programme, depending on the requirements of the show.

Tendered titles are chosen by BBC commissioners based on a range of considerations, taking into account production and TX schedules, value for money and the opportunity for editorial review. 

The BBC will retain the intellectual property rights (IP) to each of the programmes. And will set out by title what the location requirements are.

The BBC has introduced a Commissioning process framework (PDF). to ensure parity for suppliers competing to produce content. This tender process is related to Network TV only. Sport, Children’s, Radio and Nations will outline their processes separately.

  • The invitation to tender for topical arts coverage on BBC Two is available to download from the arts on Two page.
  • The invitation to tender for Mastermind and Celebrity Mastermind is available to download from the entertainment on One page.
  • The invitation to tender for the television coverage of the BBC Proms is available to download from the music television page.
  • The invitation to tender for Later… with Jools Holland and Jools’ Annual Hootenanny is available to download from the music television page.
  • The invitation to putch for a TV and digital cinema and film series is available to download from the arts page.

 Find out more about the stages of the process and award criteria (PDF).

 

Local programmes

Local services in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the English regions are commissioned locally and ideas should be submitted directly to them. Find contacts for local programmes on the specific commissioning websites for Northern IrelandScotland and Wales.  

 

Development agreement

 Visit the How we do business page to download the development agreement.

 

Complaints

There is a procedure for suppliers where they have concerns relating to the BBC's commissioning process where they have not been fully addressed by the commissioning genre.

If a producer has chosen not to use BBC Pitch to submit ideas this will need to be taken into consideration should a producer pursue a complaint against the BBC regarding the commissioning process.

Download the three stage guidance to complaints about commissioning (PDF).

All complaints should in the first instance, be sent to the BBC Content Complaints team.

Where the complaint is about the running of a Competitive Tender, how the BBC implements its Charter commitments or about BBC Studios and its relationship with BBC Public Service, these complaints will be referred to the Executive Complaints Unit for investigation.

Please note: users with complaints about other areas of the BBC should see the BBC Help and Feedback website for ways to get in touch.

 

Diversity

Visit the Diversity page of the production handbook for information about the resources and support available for suppliers.

 

Quotas and targets

The BBC is subject to a number of formal quotas and targets relating to who makes content, what the content is about and where it is made. Some of these commitments are legal requirements which are monitored by Ofcom and some are targets which have been agreed with the BBC Trust.

 

Download more detailed information about Quotas and targets (PDF).