Acknowledging the ‘unique and dynamic’ situation caused by the Covid-19 outbreak, C4 director of programs Ian Katz emailed producers Monday with advice on how the broadcaster is proceeding in light of the restrictions caused by coronavirus.
Katz acknowledged that many producers are already having to stop production at least for the time being.
“Each production will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis with an open line of communication between Channel 4 and the production company for the best action to take,” said Katz. “This may mean that some commissions will need to be postponed, or resume in different ways (e.g. curtailed), and potentially even canceled.”
He explained that decisions will be taken “in the context of the likely length of disruption and the ongoing needs of our schedule.”
He also called on indies who are concerned that production insurance will not cover planned activities because of coronavirus to notify their production finance manager at Channel 4.
Katz added that any commissions that do not immediately need to go into production and are not filming imminently should only be committing to essential spend at this stage.
“If you anticipate unplanned or previously unapproved costs, these should be clearly notified to Channel 4 and we will consider how these are funded and treated within our deals,” wrote Katz.
“Suppliers should be aware that due to the as yet unknown scale of the impact on productions across Channel 4 and the currently unknown impact on advertising revenues, we may not necessarily be able to provide full financial support for these incremental costs and therefore you should take decisions that limit financial exposure.
He also called on productions currently shooting to follow Public Health England or government advice at all times, as well as consulting continually with their health and safety advisors.
Katz ended his email with a rallying cry for the industry: “We strongly believe the whole broadcasting industry has a vital role to play in times of national crisis, from informing and educating to providing a sense of emotional connection and community when people may be feeling worried and isolated. Our success in fulfilling that role relies on us all working together to navigate new territory and we appreciate your patience and support at this time.”