Commissioning Charter

Our commissioning philosophy and promise to you...

Our Commissioning Philosophy

We want every origination to speak volumes not only about the channel it's on but about our whole network. Every idea needs to be brand defining, marking out our unique place in the industry by never following the crowd or settling for the consensus.

It's vital that we continue to grow our reputation as a commissioner of exciting and different content but for that we need your help. We want programmes that feel like a real coup. We want the biggest show in pay TV like Dynamo, we want huge national events like Monty Python's last ever performance together live from the O2 and we want stellar talent in shows you wouldn't see anywhere else like Crackanory or Alan Davies: As Yet Untitled.

We want to win awards and compete with every other broadcaster in the UK for the very best shows across a wide range of genres; comedy, formats and factual entertainment through to ob docs and scripted, always with an entertainment spin.

To achieve that we'll fight to work with the very best producers and the most exciting talent. We know that things have changed in the industry and the playing field is more level than ever before. We're working hard to make sure that we're the first place you think of when it comes to doing your best work because we'll build a creative relationship of support, trust and collaboration.

Above all we're prepared to be brave. So our challenge to you is to bring us your most quirky, off the wall ideas; the ones that no one else would make - we're the only broadcaster to have commissioned a primetime maths entertainment show after all. Bring us programmes that through their unique approach and high quality have appeal beyond the UK to the international market. Bring us programmes that challenge convention and that can blaze a trail for the continued growth of our entire network.

In return for your best ideas we promise to...

Put creativity first.

We have strong programme making experience in our department. We believe that we should bring something to the table too so we'll do our best to work with you to develop your ideas and give them the greatest chance of success, whether that's with us or elsewhere.

Be decisive and act swiftly.

We aim to acknowledge your submission within 2 days and give feedback within 2 weeks. Within 4 weeks we'll commit to further development, either paid or unpaid, or we'll turn the idea down. If we don't stick to that then tell us. We're happy for you to chase us directly or get Lucy.Arditti@uktv.co.uk to give us a poke with a sharp stick.

Develop ideas properly with you.

We have a substantial pot of development money to spend on everything from securing access, to shooting casting tapes and fully-funded broadcast pilots.

Be passionate.

We don't commission as much volume as some other commissioning departments so every single project is incredibly important to us and we will work tirelessly to make it as great a show as we can.

To work continually to improve our relationships with indies.

To that end we've completely overhauled our commissioning process. We've made changes at every stage, from ideas tracking through to how we structure internal meetings and how we make decisions. We've rewritten our production agreement, formalised and simplified greenlight emails and are currently working to make post production paperwork less onerous. We'll continue to work on feedback, further streamlining and clarifying all of our processes.

Improve our Business Affairs processes.

We're not a PSB and we don't operate the same terms of trade. We're a unique company with a different model to every other broadcaster in the UK but we promise to be up front about our requirements and to deal swiftly and fairly. We've already improved the turnaround time for contracts. In all but the most complicated scenarios we aim to have the first draft of the commissioning agreement out to you within a week of the green light and to have concluded the agreement within 4 weeks.

Back our shows with proper budgets.

We want to compete with the PSBs and we know that we need to be competitive with our budgets to do so. We don't operate a tariff system for a reason. We want to agree with you on the editorial that gets us all most excited and then cost the show to match. That way we're letting the creative drive the price rather than the other way round.

Work hard to find strong brand partnerships.

Some shows lend themselves to ad funding more than others but where appropriate our highly successful commercial partnerships team will proactively seek funding to make those shows a reality.

Support and shout about your ideas right through to transmission.

Every show is different as are the channels they're made for but whatever your programme we promise to use the huge expertise of our award winning press and marketing teams to promote it.

Be accessible.

We're a small department and we're approachable. Just send us an email submissions@uktv.co.uk or pick up the phone.

Be transparent.

See here for an explanation of how ideas travel through UKTV and who makes the decisions.

Listen to you.

Feedback is the best way that we can raise our game so we have a clear and effective procedure for raising issues. First contact the Director of Commissioning Richard.Watsham@uktv.co.uk and if you don't like him very much then email the Controller Emma.Tennant@uktv.co.uk

Be aware of our impact on the wider world.

For this reason we are proud members of BAFTA's Albert Consortium

And some things we promise never to do...

Operate commissioning rounds because we believe that flexibility and agility are vital in driving forward the most ambitious ideas.

Have a preferred suppliers list. We work with a wide range of Indies and we want to work with more. The indies who make most for us are those who spend more time understanding our needs and bring us their best ideas first.