Job specification

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Designation: Rights Assistant

Department: Commercial Rights Department, Rights Legal & Business Affairs

Grade: 4H

The business of the RL&BA Group is the acquisition and clearance of contributor rights, to enable the BBC to produce and broadcast programmes on its public service radio and television channels and to enable BBC Worldwide to exploit those programmes and ancillary products both in the UK and internationally.

The Commercial Rights Department provides a rights costing and clearing service to enable the commercial exploitation of BBC TV programming, DVD, audio and other ancillary products both in the UK and internationally by BBC Worldwide and other parties.

The services provided by Commercial Rights Department include:

  • Provision of programme rights information and costing data.

  • negotiating for the extension of contributor and other underlying rights clearances

  • Providing contributor payment information to enable Talent payaways.

The teams within Commercial Rights Department are:

  1. Audio clearance team - responsible for negotiating, costing and clearing rights to enable the release of audio product by BBC Worldwide’s audio distributor .

  1. Commercial TV, DVD and Archive clearance teams whose responsibilities include the clearing and costing of programming for all media exploitation including broadcast on the BBC’s joint venture channels, release of programmes on DVD or other e-markets and programme sales by BBCWW and other third parties across all media platforms

  2. Public Service teams – who are responsible for clearance of contributor and underlying rights in programmes on the BBC’s UK secondary channels (BBC 1, BBC 2 BBC3, BBC4, CBBC, Cbeebies)

  3. iPlayer team who manage the clearance position for release of BBC programming across a wide range of media platforms operated by the BBC, its partners and other third parties

  4. Library Sales team who provide a contributor clearance information service for third party use of clips of BBC programmes supplied by BBC Motion Gallery


Rights Assistants are responsible for the provision of a timely and accurate costing and clearance service regarding Factual, Fiction and Audio/Video programming on behalf of BBC Worldwide TV Sales, Consumer Products and other third parties.


Rights Assistants report to Rights Executives. The overall responsibility for section lies with the Rights Manager.


The post is office based and although in general normal office hours will apply, a flexible approach to working time will be necessary.

KEY RESPONSIBILITIES (dependent upon team area)
1. To source and research rights information for programmes by contacting various BBC departments, IT systems and external bodies.
2. To validate rights in accordance with Talent Union and other contributor Agreements regarding the commercial exploitation of BBC programming.

3. To analyse, interpret and summarise programme rights information regarding secondary usage.

4. To negotiate, as required contributor rights to enable exploitation within an agreed budget and time-scale.
5. To record rights data on IT systems.
6. To maintain agreed customer service levels and quality standards.
7. To carry out administration tasks as required.
8. To provide statistical information on clearance / cost activities.
9. To undertake special projects or any other duties as directed by the Rights Executive.
10. To deputise for the Rights Executive as appropriate.
11. To be aware of the full extent of the financial and purchasing authority of this post and to ensure that this authority is exercised in accordance with BBC financial arrangements.


Essential Skills, Knowledge & Experience

  • Proven effective organisation and administrative skills with the ability to prioritise own workload.

  • Previous proven experience in an administrative role

  • The ability to acquire sound knowledge of rights clearance processes

  • Proven experience of creating and maintaining systems/processes/procedures.

  • Proven ability to work in a target focused and changing work environment.

  • Proven ability to work on own initiative and offer ideas and suggestions for improvement.

  • Advanced knowledge of MS Office Word, Excel and databases.

  • Experience of building and maintaining productive working relationships with key contacts and colleagues.

  • A keen eye for detail with the ability to maintain standards of accuracy under pressure of tight deadlines.

  • Excellent communication skills both verbal and written.

  • Excellent numeracy skills.

Desirable Attributes

  • A proven interest in the Broadcasting industry.

  • Ability to learn new software quickly

  • Knowledge of TV production processes and procedures.

  • Good understanding of BBC payments system

  • Knowledge of BBC organisational structure and key contacts.

  • Basic presenting skills

Communication – Is clear and concise; Listens carefully to others and doesn’t interrupt or talk over them; Uses appropriate style of communication, adapting to their audience needs; and willing to ask questions to clarify understanding.
Self-Development & Learning – Keeps up-to-date with own area of expertise; Open to learning new things; Shares knowledge and learning with others; and takes responsibility for own work and development.
Managing Relationships/Teamworking – Able to build and maintain effective working relationships with a range of people; Is diplomatic and tactful in all dealings; Is open and trustworthy; Works collaboratively with others; to be part of a team, works together as opposed to working separately or competitively.
Planning & Organising – Able to think ahead in order to establish an efficient and appropriate course of action for self and others. Priorities and plans activities taking into account all the relevant issues and factors such as deadlines, staffing and resources; Produces accurate and well-presented documentation;
Analytical Thinking – Demonstrates clear, logical reasoning; Draws out links between key pieces of information; Identifies errors and omissions in information; and analyses pros and cons of ideas/solutions. Analyses pros and cons of ideas/solutions.
Problem Solving – Generates a range of solutions to a problem; Challenges current assumptions; and shares own ideas and builds on others’ ideas. Offers alternative ways of doing things
Resilience – Responds calmly to pressure and challenge; Takes the initiative when faced with a difficult situation; and demonstrates flexibility in the face of set-backs and changing priorities.
Influencing, Persuading & Negotiation - Able to present sound and well-reasoned arguments to convince others. Can draw from a range of strategies to persuade people in a way that results in agreement or behaviour change.
Decision Making - - Is ready and able to take the initiative, originate action and be responsible for the consequences of the decisions made

Date of issue: March 2012 

(A job description is a written statement of the essential characteristics of the job, with its principal accountabilities, incorporating a note of the skills, knowledge and experience required for a satisfactory level of performance.  This is not intended to be a complete, detailed account of all aspects of the duties involved).

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