Jonathan Tweed

getting full uk listings data from atlas: it’s easy!

We get a lot of email from people working on personal or early stage projects and who would like access to some of the restricted data sources in Atlas, mostly data from ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5.

The great thing is that we are almost always able to help with such requests, but we know that up to now this hasn’t always been clear. In this post I’m going to put that right and outline the standard conditions under which we can make more data available.

hello, press association

We have full UK listings in Atlas from Press Association. This covers hundreds of channels across all major digital platforms in the UK.

We have an agreement with PA that we can give people access to their data for personal use, prototyping and early stage development. If you start making money from the data, they will want to talk to you about commercial licensing.

Press Association data is made available without any licence fee under the following conditions:

  • This is a personal or research project and has no commercial model at this stage
  • PA will limit the free licence to six months and may agree an extension if appropriate
  • PA receive updates on progress of the work
  • PA have an opportunity to be involved in the commercial exploitation of any product
  • The data is marked Copyright: Press Association
  • PA require us to pass on your contact details, including any company or trading name for their records
  • Any fees payable to Red Bee Media on behalf of ITV are paid by yourself

That last one requires a bit more explanation. The fees for ITV data are statutory fees that have been waived by the other broadcasters, but unfortunately not ITV. If you make use of their data in a commercially successful way you would have to pay these to ITV or remove the ITV data, but this should not be an issue for personal use.

what about the broadcasters themselves?

We do also have direct feeds from the major UK broadcasters, but giving access to these is harder. We can give public access without a key to BBC data. To get access to the data from the other broadcasters you will need to have agreement from them to use their data.

The normal route is to use PA data and then overlay the broadcaster data on top, using our clever equivalence matching. This gets you a full EPG, but with better images and links to ondemand services directly from the broadcasters you have access to. In reality this starts out as just BBC for most people.

great, give me the pa data!

Ok! Send us an email to atlas @ metabroadcast dot com with your name and any company details and we’ll create you an API key. Simple as that.

Update, March 14th 2014: You can now create and manage your own Atlas API key. Read the instructions on our blog.

making it even easier

We do hope to make this process more streamlined, in two ways:

  • We are continually working with data providers to try and secure greater public access to data
  • For those sources that continue to require a key, we hope to make applying for a key an entirely self-service process

If you’d like to help us do that sooner, we are hiring.

Update, March 14th 2013: added details for self-service

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