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Plus Icon What is appropriate for broadcasting?

The Big Screen is a ‘public space broadcasting’ channel. It provides information and entertainment for those viewing it but does not provide the viewer with choice. Any content should minimise the potential for causing offence and must not infringe legal rights.

Offensive language is one of the most frequent causes of complaint for broadcasters. Judgements about its use are difficult because they depend on tone and context. There is often no consensus about what words are acceptable – it can depend on when they are said and by who. As a guideline, any content submitted for broadcast should not contain what is generally accepted to be offensive language. If it does, it will only be considered for broadcast in a late evening slot.

Children and dangerous imitation
Children can be influenced by what they see, hear and read. Careful judgement is required for content which might lead to dangerous imitation, including content which shows the use of domestic objects in violent acts (e.g. knives, hammers and scissors).

Content that appears to condone or glamorise violence and dangerous or antisocial behaviour and could encourage others to copy such behaviour will not be acceptable. This includes violence that is depicted in places normally regarded as safe, such as the family home, hospitals and schools.

Sex and nudity
Partial/full nudity will not usually be accepted. Likewise, material that portrays sexual behaviour or contains explicit sexual discussion will not be accepted unless it can be clearly editorially justified and then it will only be considered for a late evening broadcast slot.

Alcohol, smoking, solvent/drug abuse, illegal drugsbr /> There must be a balance between reflecting public attitudes and realism and the danger of encouraging potentially damaging or illegal behaviour, particularly among children. For broadcast on the Big Screen, content should not encourage, glamorise or condone the use of illegal drugs, smoking, solvent abuse or the misuse of alcohol. It is understood that concert clips, musical productions and dramatisations of social activities may contain images of some of the above. This only becomes an issue of debate if the images are stylised to appear unduly appealing.

Suicide, attempted suicide and self-harm
Suicide, attempted suicide and self-harm should not normally portrayed. If it is, it should be done with great sensitivity. Care must be taken to avoid describing or showing methods in any great detail, and content producers should be alert to the dangers of making such behaviour attractive to the vulnerable.

Content must avoid offensive or stereotypical assumptions and people should only be described in terms of their disability, age, and sexual orientation when there is clear editorial justification.

Plus Icon Permissions and Licensing

All permissions and relevant licences must be in place for all material submitted for broadcasting on the Big Screen. When seeking such permissions, it must be made clear that content shown on the Big Screen could be repeated several times in a day/week and that content will also be available through the Big Screen website.

The types of permission you might need are as follows. This list is not comprehensive.

  • MUSIC - you will need permission for any music used in your content that is subject to copyright. This permission is usually sought from the Mechanical Copyright Protection Society.
  • CHILDREN AND CONSENT – you must obtain the written consent of parents or legal guardians before interviewing or involving children or young people in videos created for marketing and promotion purposes.
  • ARTISTS – you will need to ensure you have the rights to use their performance in your film.
  • ADULTS – ideally, you should have obtained written consent from anyone appearing on camera. If this consent has not been obtained, you will need to consider whether using the material breaches privacy, data protection and defamation laws.
  • LOCATIONS – you will need to consider whether you need to obtain permission for filming in a particular location.
Plus Icon Technical Guidelines

This section specifies the format in which content should be submitted for potential broadcast on the Big Screen.

Content format

Submitted content can be in the form of, although not limited to, video, stills, text, graphics, animation and games.

  • HD or SD MPEG2/MP4/MOV
  • Aspect ratio: 16:9 anamorphic / PAL
  • Full screen image:1024 x 576 (still jpeg, bmp, tga, tif, psd, eps, cpt), or 720p video.
  • Audio settings: PCM 48 kHz, stereo or 244kbps.
  • Still images: 72dpi in either jpeg or png format. Landscape.
  • Slides and graphics: 72dpi in either jpeg or png format. Landscape. The less text the better in terms of readability, with the text no smaller than 18 points.

Please ensure your film does not contain any stroboscopic effects.

On-screen web links will be permitted as long as these are justified within the context of the screening; for example, to provide additional information or background. Any sites must be clearly relevant to the content of the video, suitable for the likely audience (including children), be regularly updated and refreshed, free to access and factually accurate.

Plus Icon Product Placement

Product placement and sponsorship logos are not allowed in any explicit manner. Video content containing logos relating to key sponsors are permitted within the credits of the video. Work cannot serve any commercial purpose unless otherwise agreed in advance with the Big Screen partnership.

Plus Icon Commercialisation

The Leeds Big Screen partnership intends to develop the use of the screen for advertising purposes and in relation to sponsored events.

However, as yet, the required permissions are not in place to do this, nor have any related guidelines been developed. Once these permissions and commercial guidelines are in place they will be made available on the Leeds Big Screen website.

Plus Icon The Watershed

Scheduling decisions will balance the protection of young people and children with the rights of all viewers to receive a full range of subject matter throughout the day. Decisions will also be made in the context of the ‘watershed’, whereby content of a controversial nature is reserved for possible broadcast after 21:00.

However, unlike watching television at home where the viewer retains the option of switching off or to another channel, it is likely the ‘anything goes’ policy which relates to television’s ‘watershed’ will not apply to the Big Screen. Broadcasting of challenging content post the watershed will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Plus Icon Website

Leeds Beckett University has developed and manages a website for the Leeds Big Screen that provides information and news about the Leeds Big Screen partnership and details of what is scheduled to be broadcast:

It is intended that content which has already been broadcast on the Big Screen will be made available for catch-up viewing on the website for a limited period. In addition, the website will be developed so that content for broadcast can be submitted online, subject to the appropriate checks.

Plus Icon Content length and airtime
  • Stills / graphics / text: 30 seconds, repeated hourly.
  • Videos: Generally 30 seconds to 10 minutes.
  • Animations: 15 seconds to 10minutes.
  • Games: Contact us to discuss your proposal.
  • Art installations: Contact us to discuss your proposal.

The Screen Editorial Team may consider video content longer than 10 minutes and this will be decided on a case-by-case basis. Contributors are welcome to submit several episodes from one video. If content requires minor edits, the screen manager will contact the contributor detailing the changes and will seek permission from the contributor before making any edits. We reserve the right to edit your content into shorter episodes if the content is longer than 10 minutes. We will aim to broadcast all the episodes in one day. We will endeavour to notify content providers of the slots in which their content will broadcast. We will endeavour to notify content providers of the time slots their content will be broadcast. However, we cannot guarantee to do this in all instances.

Scheduling may be subject to change when the screen is required for live events, communication of a local or national emergency, or significant local, regional, national or international news. In such circumstances, no notice of a change in the schedule can be given to the content provider.

Occasionally, the Big Screen equipment may fail and the screen will either be off or will show its default title page. The Leeds Big Screen partnership will endeavour to fix the screen and resume scheduling as soon as possible.

Plus Icon Submitting Content

Content can be submitted for consideration for broadcast by one of the following options:

  • Option 1: Post your DVD with a signed copy of the CONTRIBUTOR CONSENT FORM which can be downloaded at

Please send DVDs to:

Miss Gemma Povey
Leeds Big Screen
C/o Leeds Beckett University
Brontë Hall G05
Headingley Campus

Download contributor form

  • Option 2: Submit your work through the website and complete the digital version of the CONTRIBUTOR CONSENT FORM. (The page is currently under construction.)
  • Option 3: Email the screen manager at with details of the content you wish to be broadcast. Include URL links and/or attachments for the team to view your content. If the content is time bound, specify the dates and times required. Attach these guidelines to the email and declare that you have read the guidelines fully and confirm that all the relevant permissions and licences are in place. This declaration will be kept on record.

Once content has been submitted it is reviewed in the following way:

  • Fit – is the content appropriate for public space broadcasting and does it match Leeds City Council’s priorities? These can be found at
  • Quality – does the content meet all the required technical guidelines?
  • Compliance – has the content provider confirmed that all the required permissions and licences are in place for the content?
  • Risk – does the content follow the required editorial guidelines?
  • Approval – can the content be approved for broadcast by the Big Screen partnership or does it require any special approval? For example, is the content challenging?
  • Scheduling – when should the content be broadcast (at what time of day, which week or year)?

Submitted content can be rejected at any point during the above process. Content providers will be informed as to the reason why their content has been rejected and, if appropriate, offered the opportunity to amend the content and resubmit. The decision to decline any content will be at the discretion of the editorial team and their decision will be final.

Plus Icon How we use your content

Content approved for the Leeds Big Screen will be screened on a non-commercial basis, will be scheduled at the discretion of the editorial team and is likely to be broadcast on multiple occasions. By submitting your content, you agree to licence your content to the Leeds Big Screen and to the Leeds Big Screen website via the live-streaming media player and, subsequently, on the catch-up media player. However, some approved content may not be uploaded to the media player. This will be at the discretion of the editorial team.

Plus Icon Licences

Leeds City Council has a TV licence for the Big Screen and PRS for Music and PPL licences. However, it will not in any way be liable for any PRS for Music or PPL payments relating to content provided by anyone other than the council. It is the responsibility of the content provider to ensure the required licences are in place.

It is the responsibility of the content provider to ensure and declare that the required permissions and licences are in place. The content provider must be aware that they may be requested to provide evidence on request that the required permissions and licences are in place.

Useful source for more information

Full Leeds Big Screen Guidelines

These guidelines will be reviewed annually and we reserve the option to review this document at any point.

Please note, content to be considered for the screen must be sent to us at least two weeks before the suggested schedule date. The more notice we have, particularly for events and advertising campaigns, the better.

By contacting Leeds Big Screen and submitting content you are consenting to Leeds Beckett University processing your personal data for the purpose of delivering the Leeds Big Screen project, to share your data with Leeds City Council and to and contact you regarding Leeds Big Screen. Your data will not be passed on to any other third party. Your personal data will be securely stored by Leeds Beckett University.  This permission will remain in place until February 2019.

This Agreement shall be interpreted in accordance with English law and, in the event of any dispute, the Courts of England and Wales will have jurisdiction.

Under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, anyone has the right to request information from a public authority in the UK. More information can be found at Leeds Beckett University website and Leeds City Council website.

We'd love to hear from you!

We'll have a full contact form available soon. In the meantime, contact the team at

You can also contact us via Twitter: @leedsbigscreen

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