Chris Hoelzl shares Smithsonian Networks’s Programming Strategy. A Podcast from Sunny Side of the Doc

Chris Hoelzl is SVP, Program Development, Smithsonian Networks (USA). He is responsible for the development of original productions, co-productions and the acquisition of completed programming. He shared his strategy and commissioning process at Sunny Side’s Science-themed Meet The Executive session, estimating that 5-10% of Smithsonianʼs annual 200 hours of production is Science-based. We are publishing …

ZDF’s Ricarda Schlosshan shares Terra X’s Programming Strategy. A Podcast from Sunny Side of the Doc

Ricarda Schlosshan is a supervising editor and commissioner for Terra X, the popular primetime documentary slot of German public broadcaster ZDF. Ricarda described what Terra X is looking for at Sunny Side‘s Science-themed Meet The Executive session. She shared the details of Terra X’s pipeline: 45 new programs per year Each film is 44 minutes, …


U.S. TV Universe Update. Plus the Distribution Footprints of Channels that Buy Documentary & Unscripted Programs

The widely-used Nielsen Household and Persons Universe numbers provide an important context for the economic health of the channels that commission, coproduce and acquire documentary programs. My valued colleague, Byron Media‘s John Morse, shared the data and context. TOTAL U.S TV UNIVERSE: The total US Universe of TV homes increased from 119.9 Million a year …

Greg Boustead shares Science Sandbox’s Grantmaking Strategy. A Podcast from Sunny Side of the Doc

Greg Boustead is director of Science Sandbox, a portfolio of strategic grantmaking at the Simons Foundation, focused on outreach and engaging new audiences with science. He shared his strategy and grant-making process at Sunny Side of the Doc’s Science-themed Meet The Executive session. We are publishing Greg’s very informative session as a podcast, though without …

Sports megastars emerging as new source of funding for documentary projects that address racial & cultural injustice

Ben Simmons is an NBA All-star with a US$170 million contract. He sent a message to the Sports and Documentary worlds by signing on as an executive producer of THE AUSTRALIAN DREAM. Passion Pictures‘ feature documentary captures the struggle of Aboriginal professional footballer Adam Goodes. Goodes was driven from the local game by unrelenting racial …

Apple TV+ Faces Dominating Competition from Disney+ in the Streaming Wars

Apple faces daunting competition in the Streaming Wars. As consumers turn to the SVOD / subscription / “All You Can Eat” video model,  they are cutting back on purchasing and renting programs. Take a look at the 3+ year trend in US Home Entertainment Spending revealed in the chart below from DEG and nScreenMedia: The …

Streamers vs Channels: A Reality Check on U.S. Video Entertainment Spending and What It Means for Producers

At Sunny Side of the Doc, producers packed into the presentation on Netflix’s documentary strategy. But they were less interested in learning What Do We Want? from the many broadcasters, cablers & foundations who presented later. The producers missed out on a lot of valuable information that could translate into new business. Here’s why the …