Programme Proposals

CTV accepts programming proposals from independent producers, NGOs, CBOs, education institutions and government departments that are in a position to produce content independently. Programming partners are selected on the basis of CTV’s programming policy, as well as on their ability to produce the show. When evaluating the viability of a production we consider aspects such as the skills, experience and business acumen of those involved; as well as partnerships with companies or community organisations that can aid the production. If a proposal is approved, programme partners are first provided with a Conditional Broadcast Agreement that enables them to raise sponsorship finance from commercial, NGO or government funders. Once the finance is in place and production can begin, CTV then enters into a Broadcast Contract with the producer or producing organisation. Proposal process
The process whereby a programme partnership is arrived at begins with the producer submitting a programme proposal to the channel. This proposal is then evaluated according to the following criteria:
  1. The content is appropriate to CTV as a local channel serving the interests of the people of Cape Town. CTV’s editorial focus is on people, events, issues pertaining to Cape Town and its surrounding areas. No proposals dealing with matters pertaining to areas outside of Cape Town will be entertained; for example we would not accept a programme covering events in Johannesburg.
  2. The content is in line with CTV’s values as a community channel. These include human rights, freedom of expression, democracy, social justice, developing creativity and local talent. We would not consider programmes that reinforce negative stereotypes such as viewing women as sex objects, or which present social groups such as gay people or immigrants in a negative light.
  3. The capacity of the producer. Independent productions require producers with sufficient experience and ability to make the programme themselves and to source the necessary finance. It helps if a producer has access to relevant networks and in-depth knowledge of the field which they are covering. Business skills are essential for dealing with sponsorships where companies provide money for production in return for publicity/marketing exposure.
  4. If you’re new to the production field and want to develop your skills as a producer or presenter you can submit your idea to programming[at]capetowntv.org and we will consider developing your show as an in-house production (this applies to talk shows only).
  5. Duplication of programmes. CTV cannot air programmes which are similar to existing programmes even if such programmes are still in development. If another producer who has submitted a similar idea to yours fails to develop their concept into a programme after a specifid period of time foloowing approval, then their rights to the concept fall away and another producer will be given the opportunity to develop his/her concept.
  6. Please Note: We receive  many proposals, many of which are similar in nature, and we  cannot be bound by confidentiality agreements and the like.
Programming proposals can be sent to programming[at]capetowntv.org or they can be submitted to any senior staff member at CTV. All proposals are scrutinized by CTV’s Content Committee before a decision is made.
When a proposal is accepted, the producer is provided with a Guarantee of Broadcast letter. This letter is valid for 6 months and commits CTV to broadcasting the programme once it is produced. The letter may be used by the producer to raise finance for the show.
CTV will provide the necessary documentation required by prospective sponsors such as the channel’s viewership figures, audience demographics, broadcast signal footprint, etc. You may wish to meet with the Sales Department who will talk you through the sponsorship rights. From time to time CTV will run workshops for independent producer based on assessed needs to provide them with the information they require in order to build financially viable productions.
When the necessary resources have been procured for production the producer may then enter into a Broadcast Agreement with the channel. This document sets out the terms of the agreement between the producer and the channel for airing the programme/series, the level of payment required, etc.
Where commercial sponsors are given exposure within a show, the producer must follow CTV’s Sponsorship Guidelines. These set out what manner of exposure the sponsor is entitled to, including one free 30-second ad per half-hour, sponsor logos, break-bumpers, product placement etc. CTV is also willing to offer additional advertising outside of the programme to give sponsors a better return on investment. CTV will ensure, through the selection of programming, that:
  • Programming reflects the widest diversity of people and interests in Cape Town, with a focus on mid-to-lower LSM audiences (although programmes targeting higher LSMs are also accepted).
  • No one particular interest group dominates the airwaves.
  • Programming is produced by a wide diversity of people across all ages, sexual orientation, disabilities, geographical area, class, race and gender.
Conditions
  • CTV accepts proposals for programme series, documentaries, short films etc. for which producers wish to raise production finance and have aired on the channel.
  • If you have a programme which has already been made, you can have it aired on CTV – contact acquisitions[at]capetowntv.org for details.
  • Once a proposal has been approved, CTV may support partners by providing certain production services such as access to a TV studio at minimal cost.
  • CTV and its sales partner Media Mark may assist partners to leverage funding or sponsorship.
  • The producer retains intellectual property rights to the show and may sell or distribute it elsewhere after a limited period. This pertains specifically to a) the physical material of the programme and b) any unique elements of the concept of the show.
  • CTV will have an exclusive broadcast window, after which it will retain non-exclusive broadcast rights for a contractual period.
  • Independent producers are encouraged to submit proposals in partnership with non-profit organisations in order to a) ensure skills transfer, b) to ensure that film makers are accountable to the community they are engaging with and, c) to make it easier to raise funding or sponsorship. This is not a rigid policy as there will be certain types of programming where there is no obvious NPO partner.

Format of Programme Proposals

Programming proposals can be sent to programming[at]capetowntv.org. Proposals should be no longer than three pages and must include the following information:
  1. Name and contact details of producer/production company and any partner institutions.
  2. Legal status of organisation (CC, Section 21 company, registered business, etc.).
  3. Details of key individuals involved including production experience, skills and PDI status.
  4. Introduction – explain the basic idea.
  5. Background information on the programme.
  6. Synopsis (summarise the content).
  7. Treatment (explain the look and feel of the programme).
  8. Programme duration (26 or 54 minutes) and number of episodes (up to 13).
  9. Detailed budget.
  10. Finance plan (where and how will you get the money).
  11. Target audience (be specific – think about the type of individual who would watch your show and don’t say “everyone”.)
  12. Indicate when the programme is likely to be ready for broadcast.
  13. Details of any training or community access component of your production.
  14. Indicate how CTV can assist you (e.g. hire of studio, equipment and personnel, etc.).
  15. Please include a show-reel or promo/pilot of your work, if available.