U.S. Factual Networks: Ten Year Viewing Trends. Sunny Side Takeaway #1

A 10-year ratings snapshot shows that U.S. factual networks are far from falling off a cliff. And Europe has increased potential as a co-production partner. That’s the message that I shared over and over in my panels and meetings at last week’s productive and enjoyable Sunny Side of the Doc. Chart Nielsen kindly shared a …

Facebook Video: Most Watched Publishers, September 2016

Who are the BIG GUNS in the Wild West of Social Media Video? Video is the fastest growing segment of the social media industry. Facebook has 1.57 billion mobile Monthly Active Users, and dominates video: Over 7.9 million videos were uploaded directly to FB last month. They generated over 208 billion views… For 1.1 million +/- …

Reality TV’s Hidden War: Legal Battle with Discovery Highlights Rising Tensions (Variety)

Unscripted producers are agitated by a legal conflict between Discovery and an established production company. The key underlying issue relates to production accounting practices. Variety‘s Cynthia Littleton covers the story thoroughly here. It’s an excellent must-read. Here is the opening and the link to the entire article. by Cynthia Littleton A legal battle over accounting practices that …

UK’s Fabulous 50 Documentaries + Factual, 1H 2016: The Brexit Predictors

Our veteran UK audience research guru correctly predicted the Brexit LEAVE vote based on the factual shows that were hits this year prior to the vote. The values of Olde Englande led the list. Four of the Top 5 shows feature the royal family. And the ode to rural life, Countryfile topped them all. Countryfile …

YouTube RED: A New SVOD Pipeline for Documentary & Unscripted Commissions

YouTube Red is the new SVOD (Subscription Video on Demand) service that targets the booming market pioneered by Netflix, Hulu and Amazon. RED announced its first original documentary special and reality series at Sundance last month. That’s just the first step by the corporate Goliath which recently reported $21.4 Bn revenues for 4Q 2015. I …

Nat Geo 3.0: ‘Challenger Disaster’ Premiere Ratings

My highlight for this week’s excellent Realscreen was CEO Courteney Monroe’s presentation of her team’s strategy for Nat Geo 3.0. She raised big questions that I’ll cover soon. Last week, we ‘Case Studied’ Nat Geo’s Challenger Disaster: The Lost Tapes. The Challenger special deserves close analysis as a model for future Nat Geo global commissions. It also …

Successful Factual, Documentary & Reality Projects Revealed: 18 Detailed Case Studies, from a $40 Mn Box Office Hit to Passion Docs

I enjoy studying the life cycles of documentaries, factual specials and reality series. My goal is to uncover: The inside story: from development through funding, green light, production and distribution. The deal: budget, copro terms, box office, license fees and more. And, of course, Takeaways. For the holiday season, here is a selection of my popular and …