Section 16: External Relationships and Financing Part B - Guidelines for Public ServicesSection 16.3 Part B
Public Services (UK and World Service) - Permitted Means of Finance
- BBC commercial activities
- voluntary payments of the licence fee, legacies or other donations
- the Open University for learning and educational output in line with the Framework Agreement between the Open University and the BBC
- any co-production agreement.
The following activities must conform to the Statement of Policy on Use of Alternative Finance in BBC Content :
16.3.24 The Public Services may use funds derived from any not-for-profit cultural, arts, sports, educational and science bodies or other similar organisations but only where the funding is compatible with the Statement of Policy. See Editorial Partnerships for more details.
For the meaning of co-funding for Public Services see Meanings above.
16.3.25 The BBC may accept co-funding by not-for-profit bodies for output in minority languages, such as BBC Alba, and other limited circumstances but only where compatible with the Statement of Policy, in order to represent and serve the UK’s nations, regions and communities. Occasionally the BBC may accept co-funding from not-for-profit bodies for learning or educational content or output targeted at a specific section of the audience in circumstances where it would be unjustifiable to fund output entirely from the licence fee.
Suitable co-funders include publicly funded bodies, charities, charitable trusts or voluntary bodies.
Co-funding must never be taken for news, current affairs or consumer advice content.
Co-funded editorial content must not promote the funder.
Any co-funding projects must be approved in writing by the relevant director.
Competition Prizes and other Awards
16.3.26 See Section 17 Competitions, Votes and Interactivity for details.
Sponsored Public Service Events
Sponsored BBC On-Air or Online Events
16.3.27 The Public Services may mount public events, such as concerts and award ceremonies, which are held at outside venues and covered on air or online. These events are key to fulfilling the BBC’s public purpose remit to bring people together for shared experiences and to engage personally with the BBC.
In some cases, where there is no inappropriate potential adverse market impact and in order to defray the cost to the licence payer, it may be acceptable to supplement the cost of mounting a public event by sponsorship from a non-commercial body.
Any proposal for sponsorship of a UK Public Service on-air or online event or for a World Service on-air or online event targeted at a UK audience, and the proposed credits, must be referred to a senior editorial figure, or for independent production companies to the commissioning editor, and Editorial Policy who will consider whether:
- the proposal meets the Statement of Policy on use of Alternative Finance in BBC Content 
- the proposal would bring the UK Public Services into disrepute
- the proposed credits are in line with the Guidance on Sponsored Public Service Events and are not unduly prominent.
16.3.28 On UK Public Services, and World Service events targeted at the UK, the money from the sponsor may only be used towards the costs of mounting the event and no sponsorship money may be used for production or broadcast costs in covering the event.
Production must keep separate accounts for event and broadcast costs.
16.3.29 Sponsorship is only acceptable for on-air and online events which are distinctive and help the BBC promote its public purposes. Events which are eligible for sponsorship include:
- concerts, performance, cultural or artistic events including but not limited to competitive performance events which celebrate artistic achievement
- BBC award ceremonies
- BBC talent, community or youth initiatives which include an on-air or online event.
News and current affairs on-air or online events, and events based on consumer programmes dealing with a range of topics, must not be sponsored.
- we must not feature the sponsor in the title of a BBC event
- on-air or online events must not be sponsored by organisations directly related to the subject matter of the event or editorial content connected with it
- no impression should be given that a BBC programme or service is being sponsored. Credits should make it clear that it is the event itself which is being sponsored
- we should not enter into a contractual arrangement which guarantees on-air or online credits because that could amount to product placement
- on-air or online events on UK Public Services must not accept product sponsorship.
16.3.30 Organisations which are associated with the following must not sponsor BBC-run Public Service events:
- political parties and political organisations
- foreign governments
- lobby groups
- faith, religion and equivalent systems of belief
- tobacco firms or those mainly known for tobacco-related products
- adult products and services
- weapons manufacturers.
16.3.31 The sponsor’s agenda must not determine the editorial remit of the event and the event must not become a vehicle for promoting the sponsor or its activities.
It is not normally appropriate to broadcast or embed a live stream from an event sponsor on a Public Service website.
16.3.32 For sponsored awards see Section 17 Competitions, Votes and Interactivity: Awards and Prizes.
Sponsored Off-Air Events
16.3.33 BBC off-air events to support its editorial content may take sponsorship.
16.3.34 The BBC may recover costs from the proceeds of ticket sales for BBC Public Service-mounted or run events which contribute to the BBC’s Mission and Public Purposes  in line with the Statement on Ticketing for BBC Public Service Events .
Ticket revenue must only cover event costs and not be used for broadcast or production costs. The proceeds from ticket sales must only be used to pay for events or for a series of events costs and not designed to generate further income for the BBC.
Production should keep separate accounts of event and production costs and records of ticketing revenue going to the BBC or via the BBC.
There is a procedure for approval of new events and ongoing approval for existing events.
(See Guidance: Ticketing)
The commissioning of a new category of event with charged ticketing arrangements must be approved by the relevant controller who must refer to Editorial Policy.
16.3.36 Public Services must cover the full production costs of makeover programmes including but not limited to the costs of the home makeover itself where such makeovers have been instigated by the BBC.
The homeowner may contribute towards some makeover costs if they have already begun a makeover or are considering one but the BBC must not demand a financial contribution from a homeowner as a pre-requisite for taking part in a makeover programme. Such arrangements must conform to the Statement of Policy on Use of Alternative Finance in BBC Content .
No money from the homeowner may go into a production budget. Production must keep separate accounts for the programme and the makeover.
Funding of Off-Air Support Material
Any proposal for funding of off-air support material from a commercial organisation must be referred to Editorial Policy who will consider whether the funding would amount to BBC endorsement of the organisation, its products or services.
Other Public Service External Relationships
Coverage of Sponsored Third-Party Events
In such coverage:
- we aim to credit fairly the enabling role of sponsors
- we must not promote a sponsor in the BBC coverage. Any references and credits must not be unduly prominent
- third-party sponsored events must not be created solely to attract broadcast coverage
- the Public Services must not accept any money from sponsors or organisers towards the cost of any element of the broadcast coverage of an event. However, they can pay all the costs associated with the event itself.
16.3.39 On-air and online proposed references on Public Services for sponsors of third-party, non-sports events, or any proposal to use content from the sponsor on Public Services, must be referred to a senior editorial figure, or for independent production companies to the commissioning editor, and Editorial Policy who will consider whether:
- the proposals meet with the Guidance on Coverage of Sponsored Third-Party Events
- the reference does not create the impression that Public Service editorial content has been sponsored.
16.3.40 Links from Public Service platforms covering events to the sponsor’s platforms must be editorially justified and must be to areas which give relevant information about the event and do not sell products or services.
The sponsor should be appropriate; coverage of the sponsored event must not compromise the BBC’s impartiality, editorial integrity or independence.
16.3.41 Any coverage by a Public Service of an event that is sponsored by a BBC Commercial Service, brand or product or mounted by a BBC Commercial Service must be editorially justified and must be referred to Editorial Policy who will consider whether the coverage by Public Services would promote BBC Commercial Services which is not permitted.
The National Lottery
16.3.42 The BBC may cover the National Lottery which is established by an Act of Parliament.
The selection of broadcast appeals should reflect the range of the charitable sector. The selection process must be fair and transparent and should include criteria looking at financial robustness and governance of the organisation.
The choice of charities must be overseen by the Charity Appeals Adviser.
For requests for our content from charities, see Section 13 Re-Use, Reversioning and Permanent Availability.
All broadcast appeals should meet the Guidance on Charitable Appeals.
Proposals for broadcast appeals (not cross-BBC charity fundraising initiatives) must be referred to the Charity Appeals Adviser who will advise on the processes required to ensure fair and transparent selection.
Disasters Emergency Committee Appeals
16.3.44 In the case of a major disaster overseas, the BBC may broadcast or publish an appeal on behalf of the Disasters Emergency Committee, an organisation which represents the UK’s leading humanitarian aid charities. The BBC must retain independent editorial control and the broadcast must comply with the Editorial Guidelines.
The approval process and arrangements for the broadcast of such appeals should meet the BBC’s guidance for Disasters Emergency Committee appeals and referral must be made to the Charity Appeals Adviser who will liaise with senior figures across the BBC to seek approval for the appeal from the Director-General.
Cross-BBC Charity Fundraising Initiatives
These initiatives are partnerships between the BBC and charitable organisations. They:
- are part of a partnership agreement and we may co-produce with the charity in such initiatives
- may either be mounted with a charity which is an umbrella organisation which gives grants to a wide range of charities or may be an initiative with a number of separate charities for an agreed common editorial aim with the BBC as broadcast partner
- will usually consist of a range of programming and content from the BBC and the charitable partner
- should meet the Guidance on cross-BBC charity fundraising initiatives.
Advice must be sought from Editorial Policy before opening discussions with prospective partners for the start of a new initiative. Editorial Policy will consider whether the initiative would compromise the BBC’s impartiality, editorial integrity and independence.
References to Charities in Other BBC Output
16.3.46 Apart from the BBC broadcast appeals and cross-BBC charity fundraising initiatives, BBC editorial content should not directly appeal for funds for charities.
We must retain our impartiality, editorial integrity and independence when we cover the work of charities and not appear to favour one charity over another.
BBC World Service – Additional Permitted Means of Finance
16.3.47 In addition to the permitted means of finance that are applicable to all Public Services under the Framework Agreement  the World Service may be supported by alternative finance to supplement its funding by the licence fee as set out in the BBC World Service Statement of Policy for Sources of Finance Other Than the Licence Fee .
The World Service must keep a record of the limited alternative finance that it takes.
16.3.48 The BBC World Service is only permitted to carry an appropriate and proportionate amount of advertising and sponsorship on its services which are not targeted at UK audiences. Advertising and sponsorship must meet the Advertising and Sponsorship Guidelines for BBC Commercial Services and must take account of the likely expectations of target audiences, regulatory requirements and local market norms in the relevant territory.
The World Service may also take externally funded content which is not sponsored content but which is either:
- funded by BBC Media Action as long as any relevant external funding provided to Media Action meets the applicable compliance procedures in accordance with BBC Media Action’s constitution or
- externally funded by other appropriate external funders, provided that it is consistent with the Editorial Guidelines.
The World Service may also enter into an agreement under which the UK Government provides funding to enable the BBC to undertake particular defined projects connected with the World Service for a specific period or a specific purpose. It must be consistent with the BBC Framework Agreement .