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Pact & C4 agree new media rights deal

Channel 4 and Pact have agreed a deal which will allow the broadcaster an exclusive 30-day window to exploit its programmes via on-demand platforms including broadband, mobile and cable.
The deal has been in the process of negotiation since January when Ofcom called on broadcasters and independents to reach agreement on new media rights without the need for regulatory intervention.
Channel 4 is planning to launch a series of VOD channels in the autumn across all major on-demand platforms, including PCs and cable TV. Under the terms of the new agreement, the channel will have the exclusive right to distribute its programmes via its own video-on-demand (VOD) service for 30 days after the programme’s first TV transmission on Channel 4 on a free, pay per view, or subscription package basis. Producers will receive either a share of pay revenue or a ‘royalty’ payment if the service is offered free.
The deal gives the parties the option to agree rights for a longer period and keeps Channel 4 commissions off rival VOD services for a further 5 months.
The channel has undertaken that all its commissioned programmes will be made available via its VOD to PC service. This allows audiences to access Channel Four programmes when and where they want to watch them.
Welcoming the deal, Channel 4 Chief Executive, Andy Duncan, said: “This deal is of major importance to Channel 4 in securing us the exclusive 30-day window we need to launch a full on-demand service in the autumn and protection for the Channel 4 brand. I believe it will help cement the symbiotic relationship that we have enjoyed with the independent production sector since Channel 4 first came on air in 1982.”
Channel 4’s Group Finance Director, Anne Bulford, who led negotiations for Channel 4, said: “This deal represents a win for both parties and the best possible outcome from a complex negotiation. We get the right to exploit Channel 4 commissions in VOD and a measure of protection for our investment in programmes and, most importantly, our brand. Producers get a guaranteed payment regardless of the pricing model and an equal share of pay revenues generated on demand.”

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