In a significant move, the BBC has announced that renowned shows such as Blue Peter, Cardiff Singer of the World, Eurovision Song Contest, and Sports Personality of the Year will undergo a competitive tendering process. While the BBC will retain all rights to these programmes, the selection of the producer will be determined through the tendering process. BBC Commissioning is set to invite pitches from producers, and comprehensive eligibility criteria and show requirements will be openly shared with all potential suppliers.
The invitation to tender for Blue Peter, Eurovision Song Contest, and Sports Personality of the Year is scheduled to be published next month, with the tendering process for Cardiff Singer of the World to follow later in the year.
David Pembrey, Chief Operating Officer at BBC Content, emphasised the significance of these brands, stating, “These four brands are hugely important and represent the distinctive range which the BBC offers – and in tendering them, we are underlining our commitment to securing the very best programmes and value for audiences.”
This move aligns with the Charter and Agreement requirement to introduce more competition into the production of BBC’s TV programmes, in line with the Compete or Compare strategy launched in 2014.
BBC Sports Personality of the Year underwent tendering in 2019 as part of the BBC’s contestability obligations, with BBC Sport’s in-house production team (Sport Productions) winning the bid. Notably, Sport Productions will not be competing this time, demonstrating the BBC’s broader commitment to the UK’s creative production sector.
The specific requirements for each programme will be detailed in the published invitation to tender, providing ample time for potential suppliers to conduct thorough research and preparation.