How to Pitch to a Broadcaster: Introduction
How to Pitch to a Broadcaster? We know this can be nerve-wracking, especially if you don’t know which steps to take. New things can be scary but learning about the subject is the first step in the direction of becoming comfortable with any new venture. Read on to gain insights to the process of pitching your project to a Broadcaster written by lawyer Natalia Chown, who has worked for a top Broadcast Media corporation in Canada.
Make sure you’re organized, clear, and know your audience. Some broadcasters will post what they’re looking for on their respective websites, together with the relevant contact information. Don’t bury the lead…state the concept clearly upfront, why it would be popular, and be prepared to answer questions about where the series is going.
Congratulations! A broadcaster likes your concept and wants to develop it further. You can begin establishing the relationship with your creative executive; develop your creative materials such as a pilot script and bible (a document which outlines your characters, episodes, and story arcs); and hopefully move forward to the production phase.
How to Pitch to a Broadcaster: Budget & Financing
You will be first asked to create a budget which captures your development costs. These generally include: story acquisition costs, writer’s fees, script editor fees, producer fees and corporate overhead, as well as costs associated with research, focus groups, and travel costs (where appropriate), and the production of drawings if you’re working on an animated project. A development budget template can be found on the Canada Media Fund website.
Note that a broadcaster will pay for a portion of your development budget, but the remainder will be made up from outside sources. It is important to ensure that the broadcaster is informed of all of your sources of financing.
In your development agreement, you can expect a broadcaster to take a 12 month option to decide whether the project will be green-lit for production, or, if the concept is still appealing, but not ready for the production stage, the right to further develop the idea.
The broadcaster would also expect to be provided with a credit in the show, regardless of whether that broadcaster actually licenses it, or someone else.
Other standard provisions include a payment schedule, the right for the broadcaster to approve all creative elements, and that your project will adhere to CAVCO regulations. Note that the development process may take a long time (possibly years) so be patient…and good luck!
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Updated to December 7 , 2020
Edwards Creative Law is a boutique law firm provides legal services to Music, Film and TV, and Interactive Digital Media industry clients. For more info and blogs, please visit www.edwardslaw.ca
Regarding music law, Byron Pascoe works with musicians, producers, managers, and music companies to assist with record label agreements, publishing contracts, distribution deals, producer agreements, etc.
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* This article is for general informational purposes only and is not to be construed as legal advice. Please contact Edwards Creative Law or another lawyer, if you wish to apply these concepts to your specific circumstances.