covid-19: see advice in the Freelance

Notes on negotiating rates for
Broadcasting / BBC and national TV

These are some things to remember when negotiating rates for broadcasting work for the BBC and national TV. And please send us your accounts of successful negotiations.

  • The rates suggested for copyright work are for limited licences: each extra use licensed should attract an extra fee.
  • The current standard licence offered by the BBC for radio features is exclusive for two years and permits non-exclusive thereafter - but the NUJ is working on improving this and individual freelances may also be able to negotiate variations.
  • The rates are suggested as minima from which freelances will negotiate upward according to their experience and specialist knowledge and the value of the work.
  • Rates for supply of footage vary enormously depending on the nature and newsworthiness of the event captured. Be especially careful to be clear about what uses are licensed - and how syndication income will be divided if the camera-person allows the broadcaster to sell on.
  • Some rates for shifts are part of the house agreement; others are going rates: remember that paid time off should be added automatically - see Shift payments - tax and time off.
  • Freelances who are registered for VAT will add it to every invoice.

The rates negotiated with the BBC are posted soon as possible after the end of each July. They should serve as a guide for other broadcasters, bearing in mind the size of their audience.

More advice and links...
* BECTU/PACT production agreement independents - no longer specifies rates
* Uploaded 07/12/2222: if you have a printout, check the current version at
* Rates for the Job good, bad and ugly
* Join the NUJ to get individual advice & representation

Text © Mike Holderness & previous contributors; Moral rights asserted. The collection (database right) © National Union of Journalists. Comments to 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.