The BBC is seeking to appoint a single supplier that can provide PRS (premium rate services) and non-PRS mobile telephone services to enable audience interactivity.
A contract worth up to £2 million will allow production teams to interact with the audience using social media, as well as the mobile telephone services, through an "easy to use web application suited to the live production environment", according to a BBC tender document.
Neil McIntosh, managing editor of BBC Online, said: “The BBC needs to have modern means of allowing audiences to interact with the programmes we broadcast - this interaction is hugely popular with audiences. We need to ensure our systems for social are as efficient and robust as any other means of interaction. That is why we're looking for a first class provider for this service."
The Mobile Messaging/Social Media Feed Console contract will serve BBC sites across the UK over a two-year period, and will be worth between £1 million and £2.2 million as part of a framework agreement.
The tender document says: "The use of SMS messages is still highly popular with some sections of the audience, especially with local radio and World Service listeners, but social media services such as Twitter and Facebook are becoming increasingly important as well.
"The majority of this interaction takes place within the context of fast-moving live radio and television programmes and event commentary online like sport, music and news."
The expected scope of the contract is £500,000 to £530,000 per year for two years, with an option to extend twice for a further 12 months each at the BBC’s discretion, plus a possible £80,000 for "future development, support and upgrades that may be outside the scope of the core requirements".