Cost, Funding Opportunities & Types of Programs

What types of programs are there and what does it cost?

For obvious reasons, the question of cost is the most frequently asked. Unfortunately, there is no simple answer as each production is unique to its own set of circumstances. To determine cost, the first step is to contact the Media Services/AV Department on your campus as it’s likely they will do the actual taping. These professionally staffed units can give you a detailed breakdown of costs and many have already produced content for UCTV. These experienced production units do quality work and we strongly recommend you use them. UCTV is glad to review quotes with you and see if there are ways to economize or, if we can, contribute to the post-production costs.

UCTV is not a production entity and we don’t have camera crews to send around the state to tape events. We are glad to assist in planning these “captures” and will provide help to determine the best and most cost-effective way of getting the material you need. For special documentary projects we will work with you to define a concept and budget and can also manage the actual production, if budget allows.

UCTV programs fall into the following broad categories, with examples of each:

1. Captures – The most cost effective productions are those that entail recording an event taking place on or near campus. Generally, these are faculty and guest speakers, public outreach lectures, conference keynote speakers, panels and symposia. Often described as "C-Span style," this type of production provides the programming base for UCTV. These programs are usually taped with one or two cameras. Often the speaker uses visual aids such as PowerPoint or video, which requires modest editing before broadcast. Event captures make for good, solid programming but they do require more coordination effort before the event, as well as editing.

2. Interviews – A sit-down, one-on-one interview can also be fairly straightforward and not too expensive. A two-camera shoot, ideally in a studio with a switcher, a well-prepared interviewer and guest, both able to make it through 28 minutes without interruption ("live-to-tape"), can make for a great program without too much cost. Many campuses are equipped with studios for precisely this purpose.

3. Performances – Music, dance and theater staged on or around campuses are more involved productions but very popular. They usually require three or more cameras, the ability to direct the cameras on site, and involved audio set up. An introduction may be added to provide context.

4. Documentary productions – Programs incorporating interviews, visual materials, voiceover and music. These programs are the most complex, require more shooting, writing, and editing and are, therefore, usually the most expensive to produce.

5. Magazine – Programs composed of several short segments (approximately 5-8 minutes, topics not necessarily related) that usually combine interviews with b-roll footage and/ or other visual material. Duration of segments vary but together make a half-hour or hour-long program.UCTV is currently collecting program segments from throughout the UC system to include in State of Minds, the channel's signature magazine-style program. Please contact the show's Executive Producer Shannon Bradley if you would like to submit a segment idea (

6. Seminars - Responding to the needs of academics, these minimally produced, high-level academic/research presentations in specific fields of study are solely for web viewing and are generally a simple, narrated PowerPoint video file.

For more information on UCTVSeminars –

UCTV Production Fund

UCTV has established a small production fund to facilitate the creation of programming from throughout the UC system. This fund generally provides small amounts to help programs get made that would otherwise be lost.

Criteria taken into funding decisions include the uniqueness of the program, the desire for a variety of production styles and topics, the ability of the program to appeal to a general audience or a well defined niche audience, an equitable representation of all campuses, and the ability of the applicant to identify other funding sources to be used towards the new programming. Interested parties can apply online.
Sign up for UCTV's monthly e-newsletter:
contact info



where to watch

videos & podcasts

live stream


more info
about uctv


program contributors

university of california



©2012 Regents of the University of California. All right reserved. Terms and Conditions of Use.