After the Pitch

Has CBC Expressed Interest in Your Pitch?

Congratulations on making it this far! Now the work on the business side of production begins. On this page you’ll learn a little bit about the business processes that will help you take your concept from pitch to production. Don’t look for insight on the creative process here though, that comes from the CBC creative executive handling your project.

CBC Business & Rights: Who Are We?

The Business & Rights (“B&R”) team at CBC is here to help you build the business framework that will support your production and govern the distribution of your program once it’s complete. We work closely with you and the CBC creative executive assigned to your program. Not only do we answer the burning questions producers have about money and rights, we are your key business contact throughout the production life-cycle.

We look forward to working with you!

  • Getting Started: Budgeting [+]

    Your CBC creative executive will likely introduce you to a B&R manager or Production Planning consultant before your project is green-lit for development or production. For emerging producers, one of our first tasks is to provide feedback on budgets, including any questions you may have on appropriate templates to use. Our more experienced partners send us budgets as well, which we review to make sure that everyone is on the same page.

    There are a few things that you should keep in mind when building your production budget. Generally we assume that:

    • Producer fees should not exceed 10% of the B+C portion of the budget (i.e. below the line production & post production expenses)
    • Corporate overhead should not exceed 10% of the B+C portion of the budget
    • Contingency should not exceed 3-5% of the B+C portion of the budget
    • Related Party Fees should not exceed 25% of the global budget. (Defendable exceptions may be granted on this cap.) 

    For all productions (yes, even for digital originals) we expect that you will budget appropriately to include third party clearances (including necessary music clearances), closed captioning, descriptive video, and both general liability and errors and omissions insurance. Depending on budget level, we may also require either a producer affidavit, review engagement or audit to support your final cost report and you should budget for any resulting accounting costs. If you’re a member of the Canadian Media Producers Association or the Documentary Organization of Canada you may be eligible for discounted rates on things like insurance, so be sure to check in with them to see what’s available. 

    We recognise that, like a snowflake, each production is unique and we’ll work with you to arrive at a budget that is fair for all of us.

  • Rights and Financing: Let’s Talk [+]

    The biggest questions you’ll likely have are, ‘how much money is CBC contributing?’ and ‘what rights is CBC taking in return?’ And those are complex questions. Our financing contribution will be tied to the rights we’re taking and much of it will depend on genre, the rules governing external financing sources, and the proportion of CBC’s contribution to the overall budget. Rest assured that you’ll have ample opportunity to chat with a B&R representative about these questions. That’s what we’re here for!

    CBC To Eliminate Profit Participation and Retransmission Royalties From Its Deals With Canadian Independent Producers

  • Templates and Useful Tools [+]

    Below you’ll find a list of tools and templates with a brief explanation about how to use them. We’re including common forms and deliverables that you’ll need to submit in order to trigger payments under your contract. Keep in mind that there may be more documents required in accordance with the terms of your contract.

    The Basics of Getting Paid

    We understand that cash flow is important to you. There are some things you can do to speed up the payment process:

    • First, fill in and submit a Vendor Form together with either a void cheque or an Electronic Funds Transfer form so we can sign you up as an official vendor, and set up direct deposit for you.
    • Next, take the time to familiarize yourself with the payment schedule set out in your contract.
    • When you’ve reached a delivery milestone you can submit an invoice together with the applicable deliverables. You can use this basic Template Invoice, or use your own form if you’ve got one. Once approved, we’ll generally issue the payment within 15 days.

    Help Us Promote Diversity and Inclusion

    It’s important to CBC that we support creators and stories that reflect Canada’s rich diversity. Help us implement and track our progress towards achieving these goals by submitting the following documents:

    • CBC Diversity Statement & Plan. Let us know how you plan on achieving diversity and inclusion in your production.
    • ECHOS Report. Submit this document once you’ve wrapped to let us know how closely you were able to stick with your initial plan.

    Understanding our Music Deliverables

    We often get questions about the music deliverables in our contract. Here are some handy documents:

    • Music Cue Sheets. Music composers and publishers rely on not-for-profit organizations like SOCAN or Re:Sound that administer the collection of royalty payments for public use of their work. Help us report to these collective societies by filling out a Music Cue Sheet for your production.  Check out this document to learn more about why they’re important. Here’s a completed cue sheet you can use as an example.
    • CFM Letter of Adherence. We have certain obligations to the Canadian Federation of Musicians. We ask that each independent production that uses original composed music adhere to our collective agreement with the CFM. Fill in this form, sign it, and have a CFM representative also sign before you return the letter to your B&R rep (contact information is found in the letter).

    Guides and Handbooks

    We’ve tried our best to compile all the information you need when working with CBC in helpful guidebooks:

    • Technical Specifications. In this document you’ll find our television technical specifications and delivery standards. We’ll also be posting technical specifications for digital original productions, so be sure to check back here.
    • Producer’s Handbook. If you’re producing for television, click here for the Independent Producer’s Handbook. We’ll be posting a similar handbook for digital scripted content producers and for digital short documentary producers. Be sure to check in for updates.

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