BBC Procurement has published a list of 51 preferred visual effects services suppliers following an eight-month procurement process that one insider described as “arduous”.

The list was selected from 135 companies that tendered.

It has the following categories:

  • long-form animation

  • titles, branding and idents

  • on-air graphics for news and sport

  • VFX for drama and drama docs

  • in-programme content.

The list is not completely closed and other companies can apply to be added via the exception process.

The procurement department will now act as the point of contact for the 51 preferred suppliers. BBC graphics advisor Nicola Kingham said: “This will formalise the relationship between suppliers and the BBC.”

She added: “We will limit the number of companies invited to tender to around three which should help reduce the problem of lots of companies being asked to pitch for one job with little chance of getting it. We will also debrief companies on the reasons for decisions.”

Responding to complaints that broadcasters use ideas that have been pitched but not taken up, head of sourcing Jamie Hindhaugh said: “Intellectual property rights are honoured within the contracts we have drawn up.”

Director of VFX company Jellyfish Pictures Philip Dobree said he hoped the list will give the VFX industry more clout with other broadcasters. “If the BBC limits the number of tenders for a job, and honours intellectual property, then other broadcasters are more likely to,” he said.

A station idents category was removed from the list in January, because of an existing contract with Red Bee. Hindhaugh said: “This [contract] is due for renewal in the near future and will be tendered accordingly.”