At The Independent’s request, ITVS agreed to publish its standard contract details for the first time. Some of the terms are fixed across all projects. For example, because the ITVS mandate is for each film to air on public television, the contract prioritizes those broadcasts ahead of community screenings or film festivals. Anything that could jeopardize a public television broadcast may be problematic or prohibited under the terms of their agreement.
As the contract states, “ITVS contracts to pay a license fee for a completed film or finishing production funds in exchange for certain rights in the program.” Specifically, ITVS expects to receive:
1. Exclusive broadcasting rights for a period of between three and five years.
2. A percentage of all net receipts generated from all versions of the program in all media for a period of 15 years.
3. The exclusive educational rights for the licensing period.
4.The right to approve the disposition of certain rights in the program.
5. ITVS maintains the right to approve all screenings and airings of the program for the duration of licensing.
6. The running time of the program is usually stipulated at just under 60 minutes.
7. The revenue-sharing model is based on ITVS’s investment in the production.
8. Funds are dispersed based on an agreed-upon schedule of deliverables.
9. ITVS does not recognize deferrals as part of the budget, which means that filmmakers are not allowed to reimburse themselves for money already spent.
10. Finally, ITVS includes a “standard confidentiality provision” for financial as well as non-financial terms of the agreement.