the media and entertainment union
a sector of Prospect
BECTU creates OB Network

3 May 2017

Work in Outside Broadcasts (OBs) is a tale of highs and lows, with highly variable terms and conditions and often very long hours – pay reviews are rare and some rates have stood still for over a decade.

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That's why BECTU is creating an OB Network. Through the network we'll pool our understanding of rates and practices in this vital area of local and global sporting events and live and recorded entertainment and information, captured at any time and place where our skilled members can deploy a camera. 

Members' needs

This increasingly freelance workforce has the skills necessary to support this demanding and increasingly important part of broadcasting, but not all employers reward these skills fairly and we in BECTU are constantly striving to respond more effectively to members' needs.

To help us to address the issues, BECTU has launched a short survey for members (members will receive the link by email) to identify those who'd like to be part of the OB Network.

This exercise will also help us to see whether our branch structure can be improved to provide more focused representation to members working in OBs. Camera operation, engineering, floor and stage management, graphics, production, rigging/driving, sound, vision mixing, and VT are all OB skillsets.

Sean Kelly, organising official, and a former OB vision engineer, is leading the project. 

"We're confident that the OB Network will create a community of interest which will help this group, with the backing of the union, to achieve better liaison with employers and fairer treatment on pay, health and safety and working hours,"  he said.

Non-members can take part too

In addition, knowing that concerns about terms and conditions aren't confined to BECTU members alone, we're inviting non-members working in OBs to take part in the survey and to receive updates on the project. Non-members can access the survey here

One of the Network’s early aims is to produce OB ratecards to reflect rates for different strands of OB work, accompanied by an OB Charter which employers will be invited to endorse.

To contact the team behind the OB Network write to

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