Under the terms of the UK Rights Agreement with the broadcasters and Pact, independent production companies are required to report to Directors UK the secondary use of programmes for which they hold distribution rights.
The reporting year runs from 1 July to 30 June and reports should be submitted by 30 September following the end of the reporting year. E.g. for the reporting year 1 July 2019 to 30 June 2020, reports should be submitted by 30 September 2020.
Below are some frequently asked questions covering who should report and why, what should be reported, and details on some of the other obligations on production companies under this agreement.
Please email completed spreadsheets to [email protected].
Reporting – Frequently Asked Questions
- I am an independent production company – do I need to do anything?
- Which broadcasters are covered under the Directors UK agreement?
- What is the recharge commercial fee?
- For which works should I pay a recharge commercial fee?
- How do I know how much the recharge commercial fee will be?
- I’ve paid the recharge commercial fee before but I’m now being asked to pay at a different rate for the same genre. Why has the rate changed?
- Should payments be sent to Directors UK?
- What is an exempt work?
- How can I tell if my work is exempt and how do I apply for exemption?
- What if I have paid the recharge commercial fee already but have now found out that the work meets the eligibility criteria for exemption?
- Which works should be reported?
- When do I have to report?
- Who do I send the report to?
- What should be in the report?
- What uses are covered under the Tier 2 reporting?
- Do you have a template form I can fill in?
- What format should the report be sent in?
- Why do you need this information?
- Do I have to report?
I am an independent production company – do I need to do anything?
The Directors UK Rights agreement with the broadcasters and Pact affects not only Directors UK members but also all production companies that have made or distribute UK shows commissioned by the following broadcasters: BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5, Sky and S4C. Under the agreement there are two things that you may be required to do:
- Pay a recharge commercial fee to the commissioning broadcaster based on the genre of the work produced. Please see the Recharge Commercial Fee section below for further details.
- Report sales and DVD/Blu-Ray/DTO sales of works to Directors UK annually for the works that you have produced (and where not already reported by another broadcaster or distributor). See Reporting Usage section for further details.
Which broadcasters are covered under the Directors UK agreement?
The broadcasters covered under the Directors UK agreement are BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5, Sky and S4C. This includes any works commissioned by these broadcasters for both their main and subsidiary channels (e.g. BBC4 or ITV3) – please see sections below for further information on which works are eligible.
Recharge commercial fee
What is the recharge commercial fee?
The recharge commercial fee (sometimes known as a recharge or levy) is a payment made to the commissioning broadcasters which is then paid to Directors UK to compensate directors for the sales of works commissioned during the reporting year.
For which works should I pay a recharge commercial fee?
The commissioning broadcaster will advise when a recharge commercial fee is due. They should supply you with a recharge commercial fee schedule so that you can see the latest charges to apply to the specific genre of the work being commissioned. Please be aware that there are some genres that do not require a recharge commercial fee and these will be listed on the recharge commercial fee schedule.
There is also a specific group of works known as exempt works which are exempt from the recharge – please see the What is an exempt work? section below for more details.
How do I know how much the recharge commercial fee will be?
The commissioning broadcaster should advise the recharge commercial fee you will be required to pay. The recharge commercial fee will be based on a number of factors including the genre of the work. The broadcaster should supply you with a recharge commercial fee schedule so that you can see the latest charges to apply to the specific genre of the work being commissioned.
I’ve paid the recharge commercial fee before but I’m now being asked to pay at a different rate for the same genre. Why has the rate changed?
The rate of the recharge commercial fee may vary from time to time based on negotiated levels. However, the commissioning broadcaster should advise on the appropriate level for that specific work.
Should payments be sent to Directors UK?
Payments for the recharge commercial fee are to be paid to the commissioning broadcaster who then forwards them on to Directors UK. Please contact the relevant broadcaster for the details of how to arrange payment – individual broadcasters may have different methods for collecting the recharge commercial fee for the commissioned works.
What is an exempt work?
Exempt works are works that are from a genre that usually attracts the recharge commercial fee but have been approved for exemption by Directors UK and the relevant broadcaster. In order to qualify for this exemption the work must be:
- produced by a small independent production company and have no prospect of secondary use; or
- produced by an independent production company based in the nations and regions, using staff directors; and
- which meet specific genre and length requirements.
Please be aware that approval is only given at the point of commission. There is also an annual cap on the number of works that can be approved for exemption in any one year so simply meeting the above criteria may not automatically qualify you for exemption.
For further information on which types of works are charged a recharge commercial fee please see For which works should I pay a recharge commercial fee?
How can I tell if my work is exempt and how do I apply for exemption?
If you are unsure of whether or not your work is eligible for exemption, please contact the commissioning broadcaster at the point of commission of that work. They will advise you of the process to follow in order to get exemption approval. This includes completing and submitting a form which is then sent to the broadcaster, Directors UK and Pact.
What if I have paid the recharge commercial fee already but have now found out that the work meets the eligibility criteria for exemption?
Unfortunately, exemptions cannot be made retrospectively for works already produced or delivered. Exemption is only approved at the point of commission. We advise production companies making works eligible for exemption to discuss application to the exempt works scheme at this time.
Which works should be reported?
UK programmes made under a freelance contract and commissioned after 1 July 2001 by our signatory broadcasters – BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5, Sky and S4C.
Works which are not covered include feature films, live sporting events, and news.
The reports should cover UK and international sales and DVD/Blu-ray/DTO sales made over the reporting period. The reporting period is 1 July to 30 June of each year. See When do I have to report? for further details regarding the reporting timetable.
When do I have to report?
Reports should be sent to Directors UK on an annual basis before the deadline of 30 September. For example, the reports due on 30 September 2020 should cover the uses for the works within the reporting period 1 July 2019–30 June 2020.
Who do I send the report to?
Please send the report to [email protected].
What should be in the report?
The report should contain information of where a sale has been made for each title during the reporting year (1 July to 30 June of each year). We do not require or ask for any financial information on the report; only the specified sales information in order to correctly distribute payments to our members.
What uses are covered under the Tier 2 reporting?
Any domestic or international sales and DVD/Blu-ray/DTO sales for UK-commissioned works. See Which works should be reported?
Do you have a template form I can fill in?
What format should the report be sent in?
Please supply the report as an Excel spreadsheet or in a format that can be easily converted to work in Excel.
Why do you need this information?
In order for us to correctly distribute payments to our members for the secondary use of their work, we need information on sales and DVD/Blu-ray/DTO sales of programmes commissioned by the above broadcasters for which you hold the distribution rights.
Do I have to report?
If you are a producer that has made works for the above broadcasters that have had secondary sales or DVD/DTO sales then you are obliged to report to us as per the terms of the Directors UK Rights agreement and/or your commissioning agreement with the broadcasters.