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 …


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 …

Latest U.S. Cable Network Universes and Population Trends. Annual Nielsen Household/Persons. Update from Dr John Morse

My valued colleague Dr John Morse shared his latest Annual Nielsen Household/Persons Update for September 2020. These widely used Nielsen universe numbers provide an important context for advertising targets, and thus for programming strategies. Nielsen updates all its universe national base counts once per year that go into effect each September. Total Universe This year …

Younger UK viewers turn to Netflix and the streamers in COVID

Young UK viewers made a dramatic turn to streamer services like Netflix during Covid. That’s the key Takeaway from a report from the BARB ratings agency on TV set usage in April ’20 versus April ’19. For Kids and Adults 16-34: Their time spent watching the channels remained quite steady. Time spent watching Netflix and …

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 …

Meet President Trump’s Rightwing Documentary Producers

Last week’s humiliating arrest of president Trump’s former strategist Stephen K Bannon called for an update of my profile of Trump’s inner circle of documentary producers and news platform operators. Gregory Crofton compiled these snapshots of the leading players, men whose influence far exceeds any quality found in their work. Since 2013, Gregory has been …

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 …