FAQs – TV Development Online Program

What is a TV Development Online?

The Bell Fund TV Development Online is broad but it is more than a pilot, the focus is on using the online/mobile audience to test the concept and aspects of the content. The nature of the content depends on what you are testing. The applications that are successful go beyond a traditional one-off pilot and have included multiple short form video, short episodes, using the same video/animated content with different styles characters, treatments, music, audition-style short video, games, interviews. The testing content and measurements should yield the information required to inform the producer and broadcaster of audience interest overall and the direction for the future TV project such as style, favourite characters, comedic approach etc.

Are web series eligible?

Technically web series are eligible but the purpose of the digital pilot is to develop and test prospective TV programs. The purpose is not to produce web series. The testing should examine different aspects beyond simple audience metrics of does the audience like it.

Can it be broadcast?

Broadcast will be considered on a case by case basis. The intent is to test the pilot content on digital platforms, if a broadcast is used to drive traffic to the online content and includes on-air promotion to drive the traffic to the testing it may be appropriate.

Do I need to produce a website, app or game?

An interactive extension is not required. In some cases it may be appropriate or aid the testing.

What does the average project cost?

There really is no “average” project, it depends on the content and the required testing.

Does the Broadcaster have to contribute financially?

No, but their support and contribution to the project is considered as part of the evaluation process.

How do I fund the other 25% of the digital pilot budget?

Typical funding scenarios to date include the tax credits, deferrals, investment and sometimes CMF.

How are projects evaluated?

The Bell Fund contracts digital media industry experts to evaluate each of the applications based on the strength of the testing methods. The evaluators then discuss the projects together, prioritize them, and make recommendations to the Board of Directors. The Board makes all final decisions.

When will I know if I am to receive funding?

Funding decisions are announced 6-8 weeks following the deadline.

What happens after my project is accepted?

You will receive a commitment letter that details the offer of funding, any conditions and any required documentation and budget clarifications. You will have 90 days to provide this information. Once the fund receives this documentation, a draft agreement will be issued for review. Once approved, Bell Fund will issues execution copies to be circulated for signature.

What are the drawdowns?

75% on Execution of the Agreement between the Producer and the Bell Fund
15% on launch of the online test content and required deliverables
10% on delivery and acceptance of required final deliverables

Can I apply with more than one project?

Yes, you may apply with more than one project.

Important timelines to keep in mind:

Project launch: Must occur within 6 months of project approval from the Bell Fund

Testing: The testing phase (for the purposes of the Bell Fund) is up to 4 months.

Broadcaster Decisions: Up to 6 months following the completion of testing the Broadcaster may decide to initiate negotiations for next steps for further developing or licensing the project. Following the 6 months if there is no interest on the part of the broadcaster, all rights to the project should revert to the producer.