The tendering of returning series currently produced by BBC Studios forms part of the Compete Or Compare strategy launched by the BBC in 2014, which underlined the BBC’s commitment to commission the best programmes for audiences, regardless of who makes them.
In order to find the best outcome for the BBC’s audiences, all bids were assessed against four criteria – strength of editorial proposal, value for money, strategic priorities and risk. BBC Studios scored highest against these criteria amongst the eligible producers who submitted bids.
The contract is for two years, commencing in January 2020. The production will remain in Bristol and will qualify as Out of London under the Ofcom criteria. The current regular pool of presenters will continue.
Last week the BBC announced that it had over delivered on its interim requirement in the Charter to open up 40% of the original network TV in-house guarantee. Up to December 2018 the BBC competed 43% of relevant content. This includes opening up new slots to competition as part of the usual commissioning process, as well as formal tenders.
David Brindley, Head of Popular Factual & Factual Entertainment Commissioning, says: “Countryfile is loved by audiences across the UK and one of the most popular programmes in the BBC One schedule. This was a highly competitive bidding process and we would like to commend all the eligible producers for the high quality and comprehensive bids they put forward. In the end BBC Studios’ bid scored highest against the criteria we set and we look forward to continuing to work with them as we build on Countryfile’s success.”