Skip to content
  • International Documentary Buyer's Guide 2014-15

How Do Networks Select Programs? A Veteran Executive’s Ten Secrets. And How Producers Can Respond

2014 May 21
by Peter Hamilton
Max3

At Realscreen 2014, I invited Michael Cascio to share his Top 10 Secret Insights into the day-to-day decision-making process for programmers at US channels. I have long known Michael as a highly-respected senior programming executive for leading players in the channels business.   He has been a notable pioneer in the evolution of nonfiction channel programming. Here are [...]

Eleven Reasons Why ‘Preferred Producers’ Earn Repeat Commissions From Multiple Networks

2014 May 15
by Peter Hamilton
pacman1

The question came to mind after last week’s stunning announcement that ITV Studios acquired Leftfield Entertainment at a valuation of $450,000,000. So why do networks concentrate their acquisitions on ‘preferred vendors’ like Leftfield? The answers help explain the current boom in valuations of non-fiction production companies. Following are my Takeaways from 20,000 feet. The Rise and [...]

Who’s Hot? ID’s ‘Pulp Faction’ and Other Unscripted US Network Winners, 1Q 2014 vs 1Q 2013

2014 May 12
by Peter Hamilton
Pulp

The tide of Unscripted US networks keeps on rising: Viewing is up 3% year-to-year for our bucket 0f factual channels. And that steady growth partly explains why Pawn Stars producer Leftfield Pictures was valued at $450 million in its sale last week to ITV Studios. But the boats rise and fall unevenly: Following is our snapshot [...]

ITV Studios to ‘Pawn Stars’ Producer: “You’re worth US$450 Million!”

2014 May 8
by Peter Hamilton
Pawn-Stars-2013-Chart_Oct30

Leftfield Pictures was launched in 2007, backed by a stake of $20,000. That valuation now rounds up to US$ half a billion! We have been covering ‘the rise and rise’ of Leftfield. Our aim was to establish the narrative for a hit series. And identify the Key Success Factors for Reality TV producers and programmers. [...]

How Much? The ‘Rule of Thumb’ for Co-pro’s, Acquisitions and Pre-sales by Off the Fence’s Bo Stehmeier. A MIPDoc 2014 Highlight

2014 May 5
by Peter Hamilton
mipdoc_Stehmeier_Hamilton_040514_howmuch

Money Matters: Finding Finance Workshop MIPDoc, April 5, 2014. Bo Stehmeier, Off the Fence, and Peter Hamilton.  After our packed workshop, Bo Stehmeier graciously recapped his important ‘rule of thumb’ for establishing the co-pro, pre-sale or acquisition value of a program in a given market.  This was the topic that generated the most discussion in the Q&A [...]

Canada’s Non-fiction Channel Ranker: A Snapshot of Discovery, History, Nat Geo and More…

2014 May 2
by Peter Hamilton
Habs

What are the viewing levels for non-fiction channels in Canada? It’s a good question to ask during Toronto’s Hot Docs Forum. Or maybe not, as the Montreal Canadiens take a 1-0 series lead over the Boston Bruins in the Stanley Cup playoffs. Whatever! This week: Canada’s Non-fiction Channel Ranker, and several Takeaways. Protection Policy US [...]

China’s Communist Party Bans DocumentaryTelevision.com. More ASD/Chengdu Takeaways

2014 April 29
by Peter Hamilton
ChengduOldNew

The Great Firewall of China blocks DocumentaryTelevision.com from our eager readers in China. My newsletter is not alone. Usain Bolt, I Love Typography and the Sacramento Ballet are among the torrent of WordPress-hosted blogs that are deemed dangerous by China’s one party rulers. (Old and New Chengdu) Why? The uncensored voices heard on the Internet are a threat [...]

China’s Doc Boom: Beijing Rejects Reality TV in Favor of Classic Documentaries. What’s the Deal?

2014 April 22
by Peter Hamilton
Documentary_China_0414-1

China’s documentary channels and producers, as well as syndicators led by LIC China, were high profile participants in the recent Asian Side of the Doc in Chengdu, and at MIPDoc and MIPTV soon after. With an impressive 650 participants, Asian Side has evolved evolved into a new marketplace/conference combination. This step up sends a message about China’s [...]