BBC issues £248m worth of tenders for playout services

By Sooraj Shah
27 Jan 2014 View Comments
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The BBC is looking for suppliers to provide the playout of the BBC's TV channels, in two contracts worth up to a combined £248m.

The first lot is for the playout of public service broadcasting for network TV channels in the UK, and an option for the playout of the BBC nations channels.

Further reading

"The services under this lot comprise of a fully managed service for the playout of all BBC's Network television channels which currently include BBC 1, BBC +1, BBC 2, BBC 3, BBC 4, CBBC, CBeebies in their SD and HD variants, broadcast red button services and updates to BBC television and radio metadata services within a live broadcast environment," the notice in The Official Journal of the European Union said.

"Lot 1 also includes an option for the BBC to buy services and infrastructure to deliver transmission of the BBC's Nations (ie Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales) television channels within the UK and any other playout services," it added.

The second lot is for the playout of the BBC world news channels.

"This is for a fully managed television channel playout operations service, including provision of, and support for, playout infrastructure required for transmission of the BBC World News channel as a global master feed, along with a number of variant simulcast feeds targeting specific markets around the world," the BBC said.

The organisation explained that there are currently seven simulcast feeds in total in HD and/or standard definition formats, but that there is a potential for this to increase over the term of any contract awarded.

Creative services may also be purchased from the successful bidder, the BBC said, including the production of editorial content.

The BBC may award a contract for between five and 10 years for each of the lots, with extension options for up to a maximum total of 10 years.

It said it reserves the right to: reduce the scope of the services, to award the services under two contracts, to collapse the lots into one contract, and to add additional channels to the scope of the services during the contract life.

"Through dialogue with bidders, the BBC will discuss the length of contract, the scope of lot 1 and any rational for collapsing the lots during procurement," the organisation said.

The contract, which is covered by the Government Procurement Agreement, is worth between £150m and £248m.

This is broken down further, as £125m to £215m for lot 1, and £25m to £33m for lot 2.

The BBC stated that in the case of any technology requirements, it may involve its technology partner Atos to assist in the scoping and drafting of invitations to tender and/or the evaluation of tenders.

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