How Do Networks Evaluate Pitches? H2 / Smithsonian / CNN / Nat Geo / ZDF at IMPACT 2013

What Works? What Kills a Deal!
H2, ZDF-Germany, CNN Documentaries, Smithsonian Channel, Nat Geo Channel

In this step-by-step guide, five commissioners of documentaries and factual programs reveal how they schedule, take, process and approve pitches.

The session from Impact Summit 2013 analyses the entire commissioning process, from concept to green light… from “what works!” to “what kills a deal?”

Paul Cabana, Head of Programming, H2
Claudia Ruete, Politics & Current Affairs, ZDF Germany
Jennifer Hyde, Director of Development, CNN
David Royle, EVP, Programming & Production, Smithsonian Channel
JC Mills, Director of Development, National Geographic Channel
Peter Hamilton, Moderator,

‘How To Pitch’, Impact Media Summit, Part 1

  • What are your channel’s key filters?


  • How are pitch meetings best arranged?
  • Are your doors open to new producers?
  • What are the most common killers of a pitch meeting?
  • Paper or video: What are the formats that channels prefer for pitches?
  • How important is video?
  • How much should producers spend on their pitch? Do they need to bring co-production funds?


‘How To Pitch’, Impact Media Summit, Part 2

  • What are the steps taken by channels internally to approve a concept?
  • What is the typical timeline?
  • What happens after final approval of a concept?
  • What are deal killers following approval of a project

Videographer: Eli Brown