Senior Legal and Business Affairs Manager , BBC Studios

Please Note: The application deadline for this job has now passed.

Job Introduction

BBC Studios is the main commercial arm and a wholly owned subsidiary of the British Broadcasting Corporation which operates in the UK and over 200 countries around the world.  The company is a global creative powerhouse for the development, production and distribution of bold, British, content. We produce over 2,500 hours of content per year, operate in 22 markets globally and generate revenue of £1.4bn, returning around £200m profit to BBC Public Service each year.

It is an exciting time for BBC Studios where we are now, as a commercial subsidiary of the BBC Group, making content for commissioners other than the BBC. We are constantly looking for new opportunities to enable audiences to continue to enjoy their favourite BBC programmes and brands as well as introduce new and exciting BBC Studios content. We work hard to achieve this aim, fostering relationships with the best creative talent and establishing strong connections with a wide variety of platforms and commissioners.

We have three exciting opportunities for experienced lawyers to join our unscripted production Legal and Business Affairs teams as Senior Legal and Business Affairs Managers:

1. supporting the Entertainment & Music (“EM”) and Digital Originals production teams;

2. supporting the Factual production teams in the Science and Documentary Units;

3. supporting the Factual Entertainment & Events (“FEE”) and Rapid Blue production teams.

EM is the home of the nation’s favourite Saturday night entertainment show, Strictly Come Dancing, and also produces the likes of Later with Jools Holland, Live at Worthy Farm, the BBC’s Eurovision broadcasts, Comic/Sport Relief, BBC Young Musician, Question of Sport, BBC3’s new reality dating show I Like The Way U Move and many more.

The Digital Originals team have recently moved over to BBC Studios from BBC Public Service where they made content in-house for BBC3. They are now tasked with creating innovative, youth-skewing content for diverse global audiences. They want to inspire, connect and entertain the digital generation with attention grabbing shows for a wide range of broadcasters, brands and platforms going forward.

We anticipate the split in the EM/Digital Originals role to be on average roughly 3.5 days per week spent working on EM programming and 1.5 days on Digital Originals programming, however this will of course change week to week depending on the respective production schedules.

Factual: The Science Unit produces content from blue-chip landmark series to drama-documentary and popular consumer health programming for broadcasters and platforms across the UK, US and Europe, including the BBC, Channel 4, Channel 5, ZDF, PBS, Discovery Science, Netflix and YouTube.  Recent output includes the science strand Horizon, the landmark series The Planets, the award winning Surgeon’s Cut, the critically acclaimed 8 Days: To the Moon and Back, and established series like The Sky at Night, The Truth About… and Stargazing Live.

The Documentary Unit is the home of high quality, thought-provoking and award-winning factual television.   Spanning five bases across the UK in London, Cardiff, Salford, Glasgow and Aberdeen, its programming is critically acclaimed, with titles like the BAFTA-winning Basquiat: From Rage to Riches, Thatcher: A Very British Revolution, The Flu That Killed 50 million, and the multi-award-winning Arts strand Imagine….

As for FEE, it’s where we produce amongst many others super-brand Top Gear, Dragons Den, a Hey Duggee/Joe Wicks collaboration for Youtube, Inside The Duchy for ITV, It’s Grime Up North for Channel 4, Countryfile and Antiques Roadshow, and we also produce broadcasts of events such as the Invictus Games, the Earthshot Prize, royal weddings/funerals and war memorial events.  

Rapid Blue, a majority-owned BBC Studios production company based in South Africa, is one of the leading production companies in Africa, producing a range of content from top international formats (for example Dancing with the Stars, The Bachelor, Family Feud, Got Talent and X Factor) to original local shows.

We anticipate the split in the FEE/Rapid Blue role to be on average roughly 3.5 days per week spent working on FEE programming and 1.5 days on Rapid Blue programming, however this will of course change week to week depending on the respective production schedules.

Role Responsibility

  • Negotiate and draft a wide range of complex production and development agreements, including but not limited to key on-screen talent, linear/SVOD commissioning, distribution, co-production, funding and other rights agreements;
  • Anticipate and mitigate legal, financial, reputational and business risk while at the same time offering strategies or alternative ideas to resolve them;
  • Be the principal point of contact for the production areas you support, and deliver timely and high quality legal and business affairs advice in order to maximise the opportunity for the business to deliver on its goals;
  • Manage a broad workload autonomously and unsupervised, referring upwards as required;
  • Propose and deliver structures for complicated rights and commercial deals, and understand and implement commercial and business strategies;
  • Offer senior support to the relevant Head of Legal and Business Affairs, including deputising when required;
  • Provide line management and/or supervision support to the Business Affairs Managers, Executives and Assistants; 
  • Form excellent working relationships with the production teams that you support in order that you become a trusted advisor to those teams who can depend on you for timely and high quality advice;
  • Form excellent working relationships with other parts of the BBC group as well as key external contacts;
  • Lead by example in maintaining a culture and environment of integrity and inclusion and to propose new ways of working that may help deliver this objective.

The Ideal Candidate

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

As our Senior Legal and Business Affairs Manager,  you will have experience in a commercial, global organisation and a distinct passion for media, as well as comprehensive understanding of and experience in Legal and Business Affairs for the television industry in a live production environment.  

You’ll bring proven skills in complex drafting and negotiation production and distribution agreements and have the confidence to operate autonomously and offer advice and support to the team and the business; 

Your collaborative style will empower the team, encouraging a supportive, inclusive and transparent environment and results in a trusted partnership with your stakeholders. You appreciate the high profile nature of BBC Studios and will act to promote and protect the reputation in all endeavours.

This role will require acting in a formal legal capacity and suitable applicants will be legally qualified with significant commercial PQE (over 5 years post qualified).


Package Description

Band: E
Contract: Continuing / permanent
Location: London, W12

We are really proud to share that we are a Level 2 Disability Confident Employer and so if you require any reasonable adjustments in order to apply please do contact us on with ref: BBC/TP/1717110/55222 in the subject. We advertise all our roles on Evenbreak, the specialist job board for disabled candidates

  • Flexible / agile working -  opportunities across the business
  • 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 (1 of which is a corporation day) with the option to buy an extra 5 days, a defined pension scheme and discounted dental, health care, gym and much more.

About the Company

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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