Distributing Documentaries & Non-fiction Programs. A Podcast with Ludo Dufour, Off The Fence’s MD for Sales & Copro’s

Ludo Dufour is the Managing Director, Sales & Co-Productions for OFF THE FENCE, the leading independent non-fiction specialist based in Amsterdam. We connected last June in Durban at NEWF, that super-exciting African conference linking Conservation and Filmmaking. I was taken by Ludo’s presentation on the nuts and bolts of financing and distributing quality documentaries and unscripted programs. …

Letters from Baghdad: A Case Study of an Archive-based Documentary With a $1.2 Mn Budget

Letters From Baghdad is a beautiful documentary that uncovers the story of British adventurer, diplomat and Arabist, Gertrude Bell. (Republished December 11, 2018 to mark the PBS premiere. Original publication: 6/6/2017) Filmmakers Zeva Oelbaum and Sabine Krayenbühl reveal the struggles of a brilliant, lone woman in an all-male world. Their research uncovered a largely forgotten but mesmerizing film …


Revenues Drain from the Cab/Sat Programming Ecosystem. Part 4: Cord-cutting Accelerates

Is the U.S. Cable /Satellite Channels business facing its Napster moment? That’s when a disruptive online solution (Napster) sucks the revenues out of an established business model (the CD-based retail music industry.) Cord-cutting accelerated to record levels in the 3rd Quarter, surprising industry analysts. Cord-nevers: The mainly Millennial non-cabled home is a growing segment. Cord-nevers …

Sweet Spots: Production Cost Benchmarks for U.S. Factual Networks, 2019. Save 20%. Order Now!

The 2019 Sweet Spots Study is out now! The Study is an invaluable guide to cost benchmarks for network commissions. What do 31 U.S. channels pay for original programs? For documentaries and specials? And for reality series? Does my pitch fall in the budget “Sweet Spot” for my target network? My interviews with executives and …

Netflix, Prime & Hulu Audience Data: Comparing “The Grand Tour” with Their Hit, Binge-watched Scripted Series

Netflix and Amazon Prime famously don’t disclose their viewing data. We don’t know how many subscribers are watching documentary and unscripted programs. Or how their audience breaks down, for example by gender, age, education and income. And how do the hit, binge-watched scripted series compare with the unscripted audience on the OTT/Netflix platforms? The lack of …

Revenues Drain from the U.S. Cable / Satellite Programming Ecosystem. Part 3: Advertising Shows Modest Decline

Advertiser-supported channels like Discovery and History provide the greatest volume of commissions for factual producers. There’s good and bad news for producers in current projections for the U.S. spend on TV advertising. The bad news is that U.S. TV ad spend is projected to continue to decline this year. TV ad revs will fall from …

Netflix’s Deals with Producers and its Impact on the Channels. A Podcast with John Ford, GM of the NPACT Producers’ Association

This week’s podcast covers Netflix. Our focus is on its deals with producers. And on how the channels’ deal terms are evolving in response to the rise of the online video platforms. Sharing his experience is veteran programming executive John Ford. John is an extremely well-placed analyst of the market in his current position as General Manager …

Global Demand for Food Programs. A Podcast with Parrot Analytics’ Insights Director Karina Dixon

Our topic for this week’s podcast: Measuring demand for FOOD programs in the U.S., UK and Europe. Sharing her expertise and analysis is Karina Dixon, the Insights Director of Parrot Analytics. Karina Dixon, Insights Director of Parrot Analytics. Top Food Shows In the podcast, Karina surveys the top Food shows measured by audience demand in the UK, U.S. and Western Europe. PODCAST …