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BBFC VOD submission guide 2019

Works can be accepted via a number of digital file formats; viewed from your Media Asset Management system; streamed live from your service; or delivered via disc or digital drive.

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Digital video ratings

Our Video-on Demand (VOD) ratings can be used for works exclusive to digital platforms or for online distribution prior to a DVD/Blu-ray release.

Do I need to get my work classified?

If your work has been rated by the BBFC for DVD, Blu-ray or VHS it will already have a digital age rating and does not need to be re-submitted. Your rating can be used on digital video services licensed by the BBFC.

If your work has not yet been rated for DVD, Blu-ray or VHS, or has only been rated for the cinema, it will need a BBFC digital rating in order to be sold on many digital video services.

What can/can't I submit?

Any moving image works to be made available on these services can be submitted.

How do I submit?

It's flexible. Works can be accepted via a number of digital file formats; viewed from your Media Asset Management system; streamed live from your service; or delivered directly to our client portal, Horizon.

Please see our Technical Requirements for information on what file formats we accept.

If you do not have an account please request one.

Frequently Asked Questions

Video-on-Demand submissions cost around 57% less than having a work rated for DVD or Blu-ray release.

If you subsequently submit the identical work for a DVD or Blu-ray rating, your Watch & Rate cost is off-set against the new charge.

NOTE: Standard costs for digital age ratings are offset if (1) the same work is later submitted for a DVD/Blu-ray age rating under the VRA and (2) we have the original Watch and Rate submission in a format that makes it possible to compare with the VRA submission. Where a video submission consists of several elements that have each received individual VOD classifications, only one of the original fixed fees are included in the discount. Any PBE fees are not offset during subsequent VRA submissions.

NOTE: Standard (seven day turnaround) costs for digital age ratings are offset if (1) the same work is later submitted for a DVD/Blu-ray age rating under the VRA and (2) we have the original Video-on-Demand submission in a format that makes it possible to compare with the VRA submission. 24 and 48 hour turnaround fees are not offset during subsequent VRA submissions.

We encourage submission of content via digital file delivery.

We accept most formats of digital video. 

Please see our Technical Requirements for information on what file formats we accept.

We will accept works with discreet Digital-On-Screen graphics for security watermarking purposes, but may ask for works to be resubmitted if any DOGs or watermarks obscure any content that could affect the age category awarded.

For Video-on-Demand works, please contact customer Helpline if you have any questions.

Please see our Technical Requirements for more detail on our Digital-on-Screen graphics policy.

A work in a language other than English and which does not have subtitles will be viewed by an external interpreter if a Compliance Officer speaking that language is not available.  

A work which is aimed at speakers of the original language will be viewed by a Compliance Officer who speaks that language or an external interpreter, whether the material has English language subtitles or not.

Where the BBFC judges that an interpreter is required you will be informed before viewing, and your invoice will reflect these additional costs. Full details of which works are considered to be aimed at speakers of the original language can be obtained from our customer services team.  

If you require a lower age category for your work than the one received, the BBFC will issue a cuts list on request. There is no additional charge for this. The works must then be resubmitted. This resubmission is free of charge on the basis that only the requested edits have been made. If additional edits are found, then the submission and original rating will be withdrawn. The work will then need to be submitted as a new work and normal Watch and Rate viewing charges will apply.  Resubmitted works will only be accepted in via the same media format/delivery mechanism as the original submission. 

We will make a request for payment of your submission before we schedule the work for viewing.

Our Accounts team will provide a pro-forma invoice after submission. We now accept online payments.

The BBFC is happy to hold a deposit on your account to ensure that works are not held up waiting for payment. For more details, please contact our Finance team.

When you make your submission, you select when you want the rating. The cost is determined by when you can deliver the content in seven or more days, 48 hours, or 24 hours before your requested classification date. 

We reserve the right to delay the date in exceptional circumstances, however the vast majority of submissions will receive their rating on time

Once we have rated your work, the rating can be accepted on Horizon, and will include the rating info.

Complete details of all the works you have submitted for age ratings can be found on Horizon

When supplied in a suitable format the BBFC will archive any work(s) submitted for age rating in our secure digital archive.

We are happy to discuss any concerns you might have about retaining your content. Please contact us at digital@bbfc.co.uk