December 5, 2018

Channel 5, the British broadcaster, has agreed and signed a new terms of trade deal with Producers Alliance for Cinema and Television (“PACT”), which is a trade association who represent the commercial interests of UK independent television, film, digital, children’s and animation media companies.

Business impact

As far as producers are concerned, the new terms of trade set out a shorter holdback position on video on demand and in the Republic of Ireland.  Also, the terms put producers at more of an advantage in respect of publishing revenues participation, enhanced video on demand royalty payments and owning music.

The new terms of trade agreement guarantees UK exhibition rights for Channel 5 on its main public service channel.  Moreover, the new agreement ensures, in both the UK and the Republic of Ireland, the rights to show programmes across the pay and free channels of Viacom International Media Networks as well as Channel 5’s secondary networks.  The new agreement also confers rights, and other benefits, across any associated video on demand services and a range of viewer functionalities across all platforms.


The terms of trade were introduced and set out in the Communications Act 2003.  Effectively, they provide British production companies with the ability to keep possession of the rights to programming which has been commissioned by UK terrestrial broadcasters such as Channel 5.

Having taken effect on 11 September 2018, the new deal will initially run for three years.  It is important to bear in mind that the new terms of trade will only encompass the fully funded commissions of qualifying independent producers for Channel 5.


Channel 5 and PACT have described the new terms of trade agreement, which will streamline complex rights’ negotiations, as a “fair deal”.

Indeed, the deal should not only benefit smaller UK producers and other qualifying independent producers commissioned by Channel 5 but should also represent the developments in the industry and the wider commercial landscape with regard to content.