UPDATE This deal has now been signed, a major boon for British producers.

Previous, August 23. Viacom-owned British broadcaster Channel 5 has agreed a terms of trade deal with independent producers that will simplify complicated rights’ negotiations.

The network, which airs series such as Big Brother in the UK, is on the verge of signing the deal with Pact (Producers Alliance for Cinema and Television), which represents producers in the UK.

It is the first deal in eight years for the company and means that producers will have a rights framework in place once they secure a commission. The terms of trade, which were introduced in 2003, essentially give British producers the international and ancillary rights to their formats and finished programming, which has lead to a boom in the creative industries.

Channel 5’s Director of Programmes Ben Frow, speaking at the Edinburgh International Television Festival, said the deal “had taken far too long” but will improve relations with the production sector.

“We’ve not really had terms of trade since 2010, which has not been helpful, in truth, it’s something that I’ve been quite passionate about. There’s been a lot of negotiation and there always will be a lot of negotiation as to whether we originated the idea or what kind of rights do we need for whatever platform the programme will play on but I am glad that we have now agreed terns of trade with Pact. That will be signed in the next couple of weeks,” he said.

Frow is expected to reveal a new slate of shows at his controller session at the Scottish TV event on Friday 24 August.

“Independent production companies are the lifeblood of Channel 5, so it is vital we operate a Terms of Trade that benefit broadcaster and producer alike,” said James Tatam, VP, Commercial, Digital and Operations. “We’re delighted to have agreed these terms with Pact and look forward to partnering with more independent production companies to power the next stage of our content evolution.”

Pact Chair Sara Geater added, “Pact’s recent Census showed that Channel 5 is a significant commissioner of programming from smaller producers from around the UK. They – along with other qualifying indies commissioned by Channel 5 – will benefit greatly from these new terms of trade that are easy to understand and reward success. I’m pleased that both Pact and Channel 5 have managed to achieve such a positive outcome for UK indies”.