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 …

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 …

Revenues Drain from the U.S. Cable / Satellite Programming Ecosystem. Part 2: Subscriber Losses for a Snapshot for 23 Channels

In my previous post, Byron Media’s Dr John Morse captured the year-to-year subscriber losses for a selection of U.S. Cable / Satellite channels. Nat Geo Wild and Smithsonian gained subscribers, though from smaller footprints than the major networks. Read the full report here. Lost Revenues: What is the revenue impact of these subscriber losses? Basic …

Factual Channels Continue to Lose Distribution & Revenues. Part 1: A Snapshot with Byron Media’s Dr John Morse

U.S. Basic Cable / Satellite channels are experiencing powerful headwinds from three sources: Households Using Television (HUTS) are in decline as viewers seek their entertainment from online platforms. The Distribution footprints of channels are shrinking as viewers cut the cord or switch to skinny bundles. And Ratings for the channels are falling as the audience shifts to …

The Development History of NATIVE AMERICA, a $3-4 million Signature PBS Series. A Case Study

NATIVE AMERICA is a premium PBS series that explores the world created by America’s first peoples. It describes their foundational belief systems that synthesize science and spirituality. The 4-part series captures the incredible diversity of the expressions of these beliefs across North, Central and South America. Providence Pictures’ President and Executive Producer/Director, Gary Glassman was preparing …