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Pact and Channel 4 agree landmark Terms of Trade deal for new digital era

Pact has concluded new Terms of Trade with Channel 4 (C4) which will implement on all productions commissioned from 1 July 2019.

After many years of campaigning by Pact, the Terms of Trade will govern not only the C4 and More4 services but also E4. Previously, producers suffered from significantly inferior terms when commissioned by E4 but now the only variable will be a sightly longer UK term for C4’s uses. This is the first time Pact has managed to negotiate Terms of Trade for a secondary channel of a Public Service Broadcaster - these channels are not caught by the requirements of the Communications Act.
The new Terms of Trade are simple in conception, giving C4 more royalty-free uses in its own territory for a fixed term of three years (which can be extended with a payment to the producer). In return, the producer keeps ALL ex-UK revenue and, after expiry of C4’s licence term, ALL revenue in the UK as well.
There are in-term payments to producers if C4 wish to make programmes exclusive and/or available on third party UK platforms. Transitional provisions for programmes already commissioned have also been agreed.

Pact Chair, Sara Geater said: “This is a deal mutually beneficial to Channel 4 and the independents in a fast changing market. It gives Channel 4 freedom to show programmes across their channel portfolio and control during the term of the licence in the UK territory, with the independents benefitting from more strategic scheduling of their programmes. This deal shows that the Terms of Trade continue to be fit for purpose and adaptable and are crucial for the continued success of the indie production sector both in the UK and globally.”

Channel 4’s Chief Executive, Alex Mahon said: “This is a ground-breaking new partnership between Channel 4 and Pact which is about us both being fit for purpose to operate in the digital era. For the first time, will give us the full freedom to innovate with how the content created in partnership with indies appears across on-demand and channels. Channel 4 exists to support our creative sector and so it’s also incredibly significant that, unlike many of our new digital competitors, this deal is designed to ensure independent producers get to fully benefit from the IP they create. This is about Channel 4 being an ever more attractive creative partner.”

Terms of Trade

Over the last two years, Pact has concluded new Terms of Trade with C4, Channel 5 and ITV. These terms give the Public Service Broadcasters the rights they need in order to attract audiences in the UK whilst rewarding producers for success and giving them long term sales revenue. At present, Pact is negotiating with the BBC over its request for extra iPlayer rights.
Pact will be issuing guidance on the new C4 terms shortly. For any urgent queries, please contact Pact's Deputy CEO and Director of Business Affairs, Max Rumney.

  • Max Rumney Deputy CEO, Director of Business Affairs
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