U.S. Distribution. More Cord-cutting: What Does it Mean for Programmers?

The cable/satellite program distribution model is mature and under increasing fire from ‘over the top’ delivery options.

Today: U.S. network distribution data for June 2011 versus June 2010:

  • Who were the gainers and losers?
  • And what does it mean?

U.S. TVHH’s (‘000)

2011 2010 Change Category
TBS 101,138 100,608 0.5% Entertainment
CNN 100,988 100,370 0.6% News
WEATHER 100,986 100,054 0.9% News
DISCOVERY 100,814 100,101 0.7% Factual/Reality
NICK-AT-NITE 100,594 100,064 0.5% Entertainment
NICKELODEON 100,594 100,064 0.5% Kids
FOOD 100,533 99,934 0.6% Lifestyle
USA 100,345 99,541 0.8% Entertainment
CNN 100,311 99,640 0.7% News
TNN 100,288 99,630 0.7% Entertainment
CNN HEADLINE NEWS 100,217 99,579 0.6% News
A&E 100,133 99,303 0.8% Entertt / Reality
ESPN 100,052 99,612 0.4% Sports
LIFETIME 99,988 99,336 0.7% Entertt / Reality
ESPN2 99,928 99,527 0.4% Sports
SPIKE TV 99,818 98,816 1.0% Reality
DISNEY 99,801 99,098 0.7% Kids
HOME & GARDEN 99,757 99,105 0.7% Lifestyle / Reality
TLC 99,677 99,041 0.6% Reality
ADULT SWIM 99,654 98,836 0.8% Entertainment
CARTOON 99,654 98,836 0.8% Kids
HISTORY 99,647 98,741 0.9% Reality / Factual
MTV 99,620 98,954 0.7% Reality
COMEDY 99,379 98,537 0.9% Comedy
FX 99,328 98,431 0.9% Entertainment
SYFY 99,252 97,470 1.8% Entertt / Reality
VH1 99,168 98,431 0.7% Entertt / Reality
FOX NEWS 99,043 98,393 0.7% News
ABC FAMILY 98,847 98,381 0.5% Entertainment
E! ENTERTERTAINMENT 98,527 97,540 1.0% News / Entertt
CNBC 98,471 97,909 0.6% News
TV LAND 97,718 97,713 0.0% Entertainment
ANIMAL PLANET 97,378 96,851 0.5% Factual / Reality
AMC 96,957 96,011 1.0% Entertainment
TRAVEL 95,870 95,882 0.0% Reality / Factual
MSNBC 95,611 94,201 1.5% News
BRAVO 95,117 93,717 1.5% Reality
CMT 92,546 91,154 1.5% Music / Entertt
TRU TV 92,473 92,531 -0.1% Reality
BLACK ENTERTT 91,772 90,196 1.7% Entertt / Reality
HALLMARK 87,588 89,700 -2.4% Entertainment
GOLF 83,759 83,469 0.3% Sports
LIFETIME MOVIE 82,186 77,756 5.7% Movies
TV GUIDE 81,744 80,380 1.7% Entertainment
MTV2 78,796 78,472 0.4% Entertainment
DISNEY XD 78,661 77,122 2.0% Kids
SPEED 78,476 75,713 3.6% Reality / Entertt
OWN: OPRAH 77,733 75,923 2.4% Reality / Entertt
WETV 77,301 76,651 0.8% Reality
OXYGEN 77,035 76,418 0.8% Reality
ID: INVESTIGATION DISC 76,561 58,713 30.4% Factual / Reality
VERSUS 76,183 74,091 2.8% Sports
SOAPNET 74,750 75,255 -0.7% Entertainment
WGN 74,501 72,533 2.7% Entertainment
ESPN NEWS 74,156 73,101 1.4% Sports
GSN 73,714 71,586 3.0% Entertainment
NICK JR 73,670 73,279 0.5% Entertainment
ESPNU 73,159 70,802 3.3% Sports
NAT GEO CHANNEL 71,158 70,639 0.7% Factual / Reality
BBC-AMERICA 68,287 67,528 1.1% News / Entertainment
SCIENCE 68,141 66,617 2.3% Factual / Reality
STYLE 67,341 64,678 4.1% Lifestyle / Reality
BIO 64,732 59,524 8.7% Factual
HISTORY INTERNATL 63,666 58,274 9.3% Factual
INDEP FILM 62,154 NA Entertainment
GALAVISION 61,677 57,276 7.7% Entertainment
GREAT AMER COUNTRY 60,198 58,713 2.5% Entertainment
G4 59,897 69,514 -13.8% Entertainment
CURRENT TV 58,288 NA Entertainment
FOX BUSINESS 57,981 NA News
REELZ 57,778 NA Entertainment
VH1 CLASSIC 57,705 56,982 1.3% Music / Entertt
MILITARY 57,700 57,564 0.2% Factual / Docs
FUSE 57,673 67,993 -15.2% Music
COOKING 57,667 57,328 0.6% Lifestyle
NFL 56,846 56,316 0.9% Sports
PLANET GREEN 56,347 NA Factual
MLB BASEBALL 56,231 55,323 1.6% Sports
DIY 54,065 53,734 0.6% Lifestyle
NAT GEO WILD 53,557 35,805 49.6% Factual
TV ONE 53,253 50,354 5.8% Entertainment
SPROUT 49,793 NA Kids
DISCOVERY FIT & HEALTH 48,723 NA Lifestyle
LOGO 47,808 45,629 4.8% Lifestyle / Factual
GMC (formerly GOSPEL) 46,361 47,376 -2.1% Entertainment
CENTRIC 45,794 NA Entertainment
OVATION 43,211 NA Music / Arts
HALLMARK MOVIE 41,630 34,707 19.9% Entertainment
CHILLER 40,991 NA Entertainment
SUNDANCE 40,000 NA Lifestyle / Reality
Premium / PayTV Leaders Entertainment + Docs
HBO 30,176 Entertainment
SHOWTIME 24,860
TOTAL U.S. TV Homes 115,900

Takeaways

  • Many channels are shedding subs
    • Hallmark lost 112,000!
  • Dark, cord-cutting forces at work include price resistance, Netflix, and the rejection of cable TV by young trend-setters
  • For the fully-distributed channels at the top of the table, the only way to grow is to eat the enemy. That means out-programming them!
  • It is the Reality category that is leading the charge
  • Mature businesses everywhere rely on cost-cutting to sustain their margins, and in the cable TV business that’s good news for non-scripted producers
    • Factual costs less than scripted
    • The broadcast networks are dumping scripted series and hiring Reality specialists
    • That means an expanded commissioning pipeline for non-scripted producers
  • The bad news for non-scripted producers is that mature businesses everywhere rely on cost-cutting …
    • Channels are forever trimming production budget line items
    • And pushing the cost of development to producers
  • A handful of mid-table Factual channels showed remarkable year-to-year subscriber gains. Swimming against the tide were:
    • Nat Geo Wild (+50%)
    • ID: Investigation Discovery (+30%)
    • History International (+9%)
    • Bio (+9%)

The Data

  • Not all channels are reported
  • And year-to-year comparisons are lacking for many networks.

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Singapore Workshop
Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Trends & Opportunities in Unscripted Television
Presented by Media Development Authority, Singapore
Workshop leader: Peter Hamilton

Key Questions

  • What’s driving the U.S. and international market for Factual Entertainment?
  • And how can Singapore producers get some of this work?

Agenda

  • What is the scale of the international, especially U.S., factual television industry?
  • Who are the leading commissioning networks? And the minor players?
  • How big is their audience?
  • How much do they spend each year on new commissions?
  • What are the categories of spending?

What Do Broadcasters Want?

  • What is the demand for individual documentaries and limited series
  • What are the filters?
  • Docs: HBO, PBS, OWN, ESPN, PBS and others
  • Lifestyle channels: Food, Cooking, Travel, Style
  • Case Study: ‘The Rise and Rise of the #1 Hit Pawn Stars’

Art of Pitching

  • How to develop a strong pitch
  • Do’s and Don’ts
  • Case studies

Access

  • Who gets the work?
  • Is the U.S. market open to international partners?
  • What are the deal terms?
  • And how can Singapore producers establish themselves as U.S. suppliers?

Q&A