Sports viewers are leaving the channels. Why? What it means for the Documentary Economy

Sports ratings in the U.S. are in sharp decline. Why? What does it mean for the Documentary/Unscripted sector? What’s driving Sports viewing? Some industry analysts blame Covid: Empty stands take away the noise, the fan reaction shots and fan storylines that both energize games and deepen the viewer’s emotional engagement. Many fan-free top-flight games in …


Quibi: Collapse was in its DNA!

Quibi was destined to fail. I was sure of that when I first read the presser announcing the business plan. There must be deep psychological reasons why retirement-age industry titans can even begin to fantasize about succeeding in mobile video — a medium that targets 10-20 yo’s with goofy dance videos shot in their Covid …

BBC STORYVILLE: Mandy Chang guides her legendary documentary strand through COVID turbulence. Our panel at virtual CCDF-CNEX

Mandy Chang, commissioning editor BBC-STORYVILLE recently joined my panel at Taiwan’s virtual CCDF-CNEX Documentary Conference. In this post, we recap Mandy’s valuable insights into the legendary STORYVILLE stand, and the impact of COVID on the BBC’s documentary commissioning process. Our fellow expert panelists were: Hong Kong-based, Phoenix TV exec Haibo Huang And from Washington DC, veteran …

APOCALYPSE ’45: Discovery’s powerful WW2 documentary in virtual theatrical release. A Case Study for the COVID Era

Discovery Channel and distributor Abramorama teamed for a virtual theatrical and broadcast rollout of Apocalypse ‘45. This powerful documentary from Oscar-nominee Erik Nelson recounts the harrowing end of WW2, using unseen archive and the eyewitness accounts of 24 veterans who lived through the Pacific campaign. My Apocalypse ‘45 Case Study and podcasts capture the development, …

Sunny Side Cyber Week Sale

UK Wildlife: Top 25 programs in the year of Covid. What next?

Here are the Top 25-rated British Wildlife and Pets/Lifestyle programs in 1H 2020. The nostalgic “Land & Country” theme that I described in my Top 100 UK Factual and Top 25 History posts is less prominent in the Natural History category. Viewers who love Wildlife enjoy being transported to remote locations that are mostly beyond …

How Discovery is positioning for long-term growth with the next generation of fans: Nancy Daniels podcast for CTAM

Nancy Daniels oversees Discovery Channel, Science, and Animal Planet, including day-to-day operations and creative production development. She shared her thoughts on Discovery’s strategy in a recent podcast interview with CTAM‘s Vicki Lins. LISTEN CTAM’s Vicki Lins interviews Nancy Daniels, Chief Brand Officer, Discovery & Factual (27 minutes, July 13, 2020) NOTES What are your days …

UK History Programs: Top 25 in the Year of COVID (1st Half 2020)

Here is a breakout of the Top 25-rated UK History programs in 1H 2020. Read my interview notes with BBC History buyer Simon Young at Sunny Side, including his insights concerning A House Through Time And see my post capturing the Top 100 UK Factual in the COVID Era. Channel 4’s VE Day in Colour …