Broadcasting / BBC and national TV

Please note that the suggested rates below are minima; that rates for copyright works are for limited licences; and that VAT is not included. See notes on negotiating rates and *find a freelance

Rates are highest for Group A - network television - and get progressively lower down to Group D - local radio. Most rates here are minima specified in an NUJ agreement with the BBC, which will serve as a guide to rates for other broadcasters. In the Independent Television sector, Channel 5 pays least well among terrestrial channels and satellite and cable stations are, similarly, at the low end.

Some rates, such as those for expert interviewees and production shifts are not part of the agreement but are "going rates".

The agreement also specifies Group F rates, covering use of words on broadcasters' websites.

* Uploaded 2424/1111/17171717: if you have a printout, check the current version at www.londonfreelance.org/feesguide/BrBBCRat.html
The suggested rates (Know a better rate? tell us!)
For full definitions of the categories, click on their names
* See also: reported rates, to compare: Broadcasting / BBC and national TV
RATES: A: Network television
BBC and national TV category: see glossary!

These rates are set down in a house agreement between the NUJ and the BBC, which runs until 31 July 2016.

The terms of art for kinds of work in national TV are explained in the glossary.

Supplied video, up to 8 seconds, not less than GBP 270.00
Day rate, reporting or producing, buyout GBP 247.00
Daily buyout (Fixing or producing for non-on-air/non-website work) GBP 153.00
Track GBP 80.00
Phono up to 4 min GBP 62.00
Phono over 4 min GBP 87.00
TV Live / DTL (Down the Line) plus guest/donut GBP 98.00
TV Live / DTL (Down the Line) off base with correspondent solo set up GBP 90.00
TV Live / DTL (Down the Line) at bureau GBP 72.00
Track and PTC (Piece To Camera) GBP 110.00
Track and PTC and rushes GBP 174.00
Action Rant/Show & tell with interview GBP 164.00
Self-shot PTC GBP 152.00
Action Rant/Show & tell with own equipment GBP 142.00
Action Rant/Show & tell without own equipment GBP 119.00
Rushes GBP 81.00
Dynamic Junction (channel promos) commissioned specifically, not when already filming GBP 43.00
Set up fee for lives away from base/home GBP 20.00
Interview: assumes half day shoot and half day edit GBP 209.00
Feature (2min30 - 3min), commissioned NFU, WNA, etc., shot and edited on own equipment GBP 1313.00
Feature (2min30 - 3min), commissioned as above, shot on own equipment GBP 1005.00
Feature (2min30 - 3min), commissioned as above, edited (not shot) on own equipment GBP 657.00
Feature (2min30 - 3min), commissioned NFU, WNA, etc. GBP 505.00
Long feature (4min - 6min) commissioned NFU, WNA, On Demand etc, incl. 2min30 cut down GBP 750.00
Newsnight feature, 8min - 10min, incl. 2min30 cut down GBP 1020.00
Self-shot, self-authored edited piece without track GBP 1313.00
News piece 1min45 - 2min, shot & edited on own equipment GBP 535.00
News piece 1min45 - 2min, self-shot but not edited GBP 357.00
News piece 1min45 - 2min, edited GBP 269.00
Feature (2min30 - 3min), commissioned as above, shot and edited with BBC equipment GBP 805.00
Live TV commentary (out of vision) up to 4 mins GBP 70.00
Live TV commentary (out of vision) over 4 mins GBP 88.00

Notes:

  • The rates quoted above for shifts are going rates for 7 hours' work (8 hours with a break). Charge more pro rata for the increasingly common 10-hour shifts.
  • Freelances should remember that if they are paid to work a shift they are entitled to paid time off on top - see Shift payments: tax and time off
  • Travel day and rates for features are negotiable at time of commissioning
  • Reworking or reversioning a TV or radio package or feature is negotiable with commissioning programme/desk
  • See also the notes for rates category B.
RATES: B: Network radio and World Service news
BBC and national TV category: see glossary!

The terms of art for kinds of work in network radio are explained in the glossary.

Reporting day GBP 133.00
Reporting half-day (minimum shift) GBP 66.50
Production - night-shift (eg 22.00 - 06.00) add GBP 60.00
Radio features, minimum fee GBP 318.30
Radio features, per minute GBP 45.48
Talks - script & read, minimum fee GBP 47.46
Talks - script & read, per minute GBP 23.73
Talks - script only, minimum fee GBP 36.78
Talks - script only, per minute GBP 18.40
Straight piece/despatch researched and reported incl Generic Minute, up to 2 min GBP 70.00
Two-way / live top & tail, up to 4 min GBP 62.00
Two-way / live top & tail, over 4 min GBP 88.00
Straight piece/despatch researched and reported incl Generic Minute, over 2 min GBP 82.00
Recorded interview with Guests or Commentary or Rant (as live), up to 5 min GBP 119.00
Recorded interview with Guests or Commentary or Rant (as live), over 5 min GBP 154.00
Press Review GBP 109.00
Actuality / vox pop, not already included in another item, specifically requested by Desk GBP 55.00
Newscopy (without Generic Minute) GBP 22.00
Illustrated Despatch (with 1-2 clips), up to 2 min GBP 98.00
Short package/wrap (eg on the day, multiple voices and fx), over 2 min GBP 168.00
Long Feature (8 mins) for Analysis (WS Radio) GBP 612.00
Longer mixed packages for Business Daily and other sequence programmes (when commissioned at around 6 minutes) GBP 383.00
Feature, researched reported and edited GBP 303.00
Expert guest (up to 30 min on-air) GBP 150.00
Expert guest (between 4 and 6 min on-air) GBP 125.00
Expert guest - news programmes (up to 4 min on-air) GBP 90.00
Expert guest - discussion programmes (3-4 min on-air) GBP 65.00
Disturbance fee for appearing on early or late programmes (before 8 am and after 8 pm) GBP 25.00
Live donut with guest(s) incl contributors, corr 2-way, links, actuality etc GBP 98.00
FOOC (glossary to come) GBP 142.00
Meet and greet guests add expenses, anti-social hours uplift and a minimum of GBP 28.00
Meet and greet guests add expenses, anti-social hours uplift and a minimum of GBP 28.00

Notes:

  • The rates quoted above for packages are exclusive of expenses and research.
  • Increase the fee pro rata for packages longer than 7 minutes.
  • Some programmes pay considerably more than the fees quoted above. Twice as much is not uncommon. Talk to other freelances and negotiate.
  • Do not underestimate the time taken to research the package. It is usually possible to negotiate a multiple of the day rate - anything between 1 day and 2-3 days, depending on the complexity of the work.
  • Be clear about what the freelance is being commissioned to produce. Not all producers and programmes want the same from freelances. Some programmes demand that material is submitted fully edited, while others expect to edit the final package themselves.
  • Experienced broadcasters favour a daily or shift rate as this best reflects the amount of work done.
  • Major reworking of a radio despatch will bring a separate payment when authorised by WDE
  • Freelances should remember that if they are paid to work a shift they are entitled to paid time off on top - see Shift payments: tax and time off
  • Claim expenses including a taxi to and from the studio for guest appearances.
RATES: C: Regional and the nations TV
BBC and national TV category: see glossary!

Freelances should negotiate starting from these figures - having checked local conditions with the Mother or Father of the NUJ Chapel; the Broadcasting Office will supply contact details to NUJ members.

Reporting - day rate GBP 150.00
Production - day rate GBP 150.00
Researching - day rate GBP 150.00
Guest or expert appearances (3-4 min on-air) GBP 56.00
Disturbance fee for appearing on early or late programmes GBP 25.00

Notes:

  • Freelances should remember that if they are paid to work a shift they are entitled to paid time off on top - see Shift payments: tax and time off
  • Some station managers will insist that shift workers are paid as "casual staff" with tax and National Insurance deducted
  • The rates quoted above for shifts are going rates for 7 hours' work (8 hours with a break). Charge more pro rata for the increasingly common 10-hour shifts.
  • Expert guests should negotiate a pro rata increase in fees for anything over 4 minutes on air.
  • Claim expenses including a taxi to and from the studio for guest appearances.
RATES: D: Local radio and the nations radio
BBC and national TV category: see glossary!
Reporting/production - day rate (more experienced broadcasters) GBP 129.00
Reporting/production - day rate (beginners with some experience) GBP 105.00
Reporting/production - day rate (novices straight from college) GBP 89.00
Guest or expert appearances (3-4 min on-air) GBP 56.00
Disturbance fee for appearing on early or late programmes GBP 25.00
Disturbance fee for appearing on early or late programmes GBP 25.00

Notes:

  • Remember that if you are paid to work a shift you are entitled to paid time off on top - see Shift payments: tax and time off.
  • Some station managers will insist that shift workers are paid as "casual staff" with tax and National Insurance deducted.
  • Some local stations will be reluctant to pay any fee for an expert being interviewed.
RATES: E: News online and printed use
BBC and national TV
Up to 1-year on non-revenue generating websites: add 80.00%
Use on a revenue-generating website: your share of revenue 50.00%
Use in a print edition: add 50.00%
24-hour use on non-revenue generating websites: add 20.00%
RATES: F: Agreed BBC News Online rates
BBC and national TV

The following rates for BBC News Online form part of a House Agreement with the BBC, valid until 31 July 2015, averaging a shade over 1 per cent increase on the previous agreement. Exceptions are starred*, and are pro rata from previous agreements.

Commissioned longform piece (usually over 1000 words) GBP 303.00
News piece (copy, colour, instant analysis) up to 800 words GBP 177.00
Feature/analysis, original material for News Online * GBP 274.00
Feature/analysis re-versioned script commissioned with photos GBP 153.00
Blog * GBP 83.00
Short news piece/summary, up to 350 words * GBP 83.00
Feature/analysis re-versioned from a TV/radio script GBP 82.00
Copy to Quickfire - max for 24 hour period GBP 71.00
Text box GBP 70.00
Copy to Quickfire (single: no payment for Tweets) GBP 22.00
Agreements
Find a freelance

Browse a selection of NUJ freelances with relevant skills through the Freelance Directory:

More advice and links...
* BECTU/PACT production agreement independents - no longer specifies rates
[www.londonfreelance.org]
* Rates for the Job good, bad and ugly
* Join the NUJ to get individual advice & representation

Text © Mike Holderness & previous contributors; Moral rights asserted. Comments to ffg@londonfreelance.org please. You may find the glossary helpful.

The National Union of Journalists must not, can not and would not wish to dictate rates or terms of engagement to members or to editors. The information presented here is for guidance and as an aid to equitable negotiation only.

Suggestions apply to contracts governed by UK law only. In any event, nothing here should be construed as legal advice.