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Pact seeks to toughen 'Out of London' regulations

Pact seeks to toughen 'Out of London' regulations
Jon Creamer
14 May 2018

Producers’ trade body Pact is to ask Ofcom to “review and update” the Out of London regulations that determine whether a show meets the criteria to qualify as a nations and regions programme made for the BBC or Channel 4.

Sara Geater, Chairwoman of Pact said “Pact worked with the BBC to establish the 50% nations and regions quota for network commissioning and recently made the case successfully for C4 to increase its quota for OOL spend to 50%.

"Pact Council has a responsibility to agree policies that work for all of its members and to ensure that the policies it promotes encourage competition and opportunity across the whole country.

"Following a process of debate and consultation at Pact Council, we can confirm that we will seek to make the case to OFCOM for changes to the current OOL criteria”.

Pact says that two out of three of the following criteria will have to be met for a production to qualify under the Nations and Regions quota.

Substantive Base
To establish the “substantive base” for a production, Pact believes that the current criteria should be changed so that the three key management roles have to be resident for tax purposes in the relevant nation/region. This is in response to the potential risk of “letter boxing” that arises from the current “usual place of employment” criteria.

50% Talent Base
PACT aims to keep this criteria as it is.

70% total production spend
Pact will call for the current criteria to be changed so that Broadcasters may count only the actual spend in the region towards their nations and regions quota. Currently they are able to count 100% of production spend having reached the 70% threshold. However, “the implementation of this policy will need further consideration to ensure that there are no unforeseen or unintended consequences that could distort competition and opportunities for the broader membership.”

PACT Council said that it believes that the new criteria would  increase the opportunities for OOL and Nations and regions production in a way that strengthens the sector.

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