Commercial, Rights and Business Affairs Assistant

Job Introduction

BBC Studios Natural History Unit produces the world’s most iconic natural history programmes, such as Blue Planet II and Planet Earth II, which have been watched by more than a billion people globally. Ranging from technically challenging live shows and super-landmarks to long-running series and children’s content, The Natural History Unit programmes include; Seven Worlds, One Planet presented by Sir David Attenborough, Primates, Earth’s Tropical Islands, Dynasties, Blue Planet Live, Springwatch, Bears About the House and Andy’s Aquatic Adventures for the BBC and third-party commissions for Discovery, Apple, NBC, National Geographic and BBC America.

The Natural History Unit is part of BBC Studios, a subsidiary of the BBC, which develops, produces and distributes bold, British content, making over 2500 hours of content each year, operating in 22 markets globally and generating revenue of around £1.4bn.

Working as part of the Business & Legal Affairs team based in Bristol, the Commercial Rights and Business Affairs Assistant will support the delivery of the Natural History Unit’s commercial and rights strategy, working alongside the world-leading creatives and production teams in the fast-paced and exciting TV industry.  The role reports to the Head of Commercial Rights and Business Affairs and will support in the collaboration and deal-making that underpins the delivery of award-winning natural history content to the world, using jaw-dropping blue-chip footage, ground-breaking technology, innovation and cutting edge science.  This is an administrative function and will provide support for the deals negotiated and contracts agreed for the business, as well as diary management, database management and handling general right, legal and commercial queries from across the business. 

There has never been a more exciting time to be working in the NHU Business & Legal Affairs team as the current global demand for high quality, thought-provoking Natural History programming is at its peak and is only becoming more popular given the growing range of content buyers and the increasing interest and concern for the environment, particularly among younger audiences.

The Business & Legal Affairs Team is an important function within the NHU and is instrumental in overseeing the end-to-end development, commissioning and production pipeline, ensuring that ideas developed are commissioned, funded (often via several international deals), contracted and progressed into full production so they can end up on our TVs. The team negotiates a vast number of interesting deals, across numerous jurisdictions with a diverse range of partners and work hand in hand with key stakeholders inside BBC Studios (finance, production, sales & distribution and comms) and holds strong external relationships to ensure the best terms and deals are negotiated for NHU’s programmes globally.

Role Responsibility

Business & team communication – monitoring & organising a busy team inbox and being the initial point of contact for business & legal affairs queries (mainly from production teams), dealing promptly with queries and/or fielding queries to the appropriate members of the team to ensure they are dealt with appropriately, accurately and efficiently.  This will require the successful applicant to build, maintain and manage first-class relationships with relevant stakeholders both inside and outside of BBC Studios.

Deal tracking - updating relevant records with up-to-date and accurate information on the status of all deals currently in negotiation.  A high level of integrity will be required for this role, as well as an ability to maintain confidentiality and comply with data protection obligations.

Deal contracting and filing - supporting the team with deal administration; typing / redlining / proof-reading contracts, issuing / distributing contracts, arranging contract signature, resolving payment queries, recording rights and contractual information into various databases, systems and shared drives.

Organising and attending meetings with the team and other BBC Studios staff, taking minutes/notes/actions, including supporting the team with preparations for delivering Business & Legal Affairs training sessions to the business

Diary management/assistance and travel arrangements for Head of Commercial Rights & Business Affairs (and other team members when required).

Are you the right candidate?

At BBC Studios, we seek people who are passionate about who we are and what we do.

  • An informed interest in and enthusiasm for Factual/Natural History content – and how it is financed and sold internationally.
  • An informed interest in contract and media law; and/or media intellectual property rights management & business affairs.
  • Fully developed IT skills, including proficiency in Word; Excel; Powerpoint; Outlook.
  • Interpersonal skills: the ability to communicate confidently and clearly, both verbally and in writing, and team working skills. 
  • Good attention to detail: thoroughness and accuracy is applied consistently when accomplishing tasks and preparing/reviewing paperwork and electronic documents.
  • A highly organised and flexible approach to work, including the ability to prioritise workload and use initiative.
  • Proactive individual with enthusiasm and appetite to excel in the role and assist in the Natural History Unit’s ambitions for growth.


  • Knowledge of BBC Studios key issues, and objectives.
  •  Confident written English skills, experience reviewing and proofreading legal documents beneficial.


Important: Part of the assessment process will include submitting a one-minute video about your interest in this role. You will have an alternative option if you are unable to submit a video.


Package Description

Band: B
Contract: 12 month attachment/FTC
Location: Bristol

We’re happy to discuss flexible working.  Please indicate your choice under the flexible working question in the application.  There is no obligation to raise this at the application stage but if you wish to do so, you are welcome to.  Flexible working will be part of the discussion at offer stage.  

  • Excellent career progression – the BBC offers great opportunities for employees to seek new challenges and work in different areas of the organisation. 
  • Unrivalled training and development opportunities – our in-house Academy hosts a wide range of internal and external courses and certification. 
  • Benefits - We offer a competitive salary package, a flexible 35-hour working week for work-life balance and 26 days holiday with the option to buy an extra 5 days, a defined pension scheme and discounted dental, health care, gym and much more. (UK centric)

About the BBC

The BBC is committed to building a culturally diverse workforce and therefore strongly encourages applications from under represented groups. We are committed to equality of opportunity and welcome applications from individuals, regardless of their background. We strive to be the best British content company in the world, attracting the best creative talents in the business, so that we can bring premium quality award-winning programmes, content and brands to the viewer no matter where they are.

The BBC Group has set out the first in a new series of bold steps to transform our programming and better represent the public we serve. We have the biggest financial investment to on-air inclusion in the industry, together with our existing commissioning budget, we are committed to throwing open our doors more widely than ever to diverse stories and diverse storytellers. Together with a diverse workforce we will accelerate the pace of change in increasing diversity and inclusion both on and off air

To find out more about Diversity and Inclusion at the BBC, please visit our website.


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