"What's my documentary worth to Netflix and other TV Networks?"


Television Networks and streaming services such as Netflix buy thousands of hours of documentaries, and spend billions on them each year. 

What exactly do they pay and how do they determine payment terms?

Introducing Sweet Spots 2020: Production Cost Benchmarks For 31 U.S. Factual Networks + Netflix. 

This exclusive guide includes information gathered from dozens of top executives, distributors and producers to create a unique source of proprietary financial information about television budgets, commissioning processes and programming trends for 2020-2021.


The Challenge

Factual television is a multi-billion dollar sector of the global media industry. But there is remarkably little publicly-available data about the niche. And there is even less commercial analysis.

“The dearth of business data is the elephant in the room for participants in the development and acquisitions of programs,” says Peter Hamilton, a senior-level documentary business consultant.

What Is "The Sweet Spot"?

Every network is steered by an annual programming budget that establishes or implies a ‘Sweet Spot’ for an hour of original programming. 

The ‘Sweet Spot’ is the cost that the Director or VP of Development/Programming is comfortable presenting to the final decision-maker, expecting buy-in for an approved idea that meets on-screen standards and budgets.

This pricing/cost benchmark is based on investment strategies, financial scale, the competitive situation, the frequency of repeats, contributions from co-producers and partners, and many more factors. 



Why "The Sweet Spot" Matters

Expert knowledge of the ‘Sweet Spot’ counts on both sides of the table: 

  • Commissioners and network executives must be confident that their costs are properly aligned against their competitors. And if they aren’t, why not.

  • On the other side, producers and agents who invest in developing program concepts and who pitch channels must be certain that their production costs are affordable for the slots that they are targeting. 


It saves time for everyone: commissioners, producers, agents, senior consultants and more—when everyone in the room knows the underlying range of costs for the business at hand.

In short, you come to the negotiating table smart, knowledgable and prepared

Get Licensing Values, Rates and Terms for 31 Networks + Netflix!

Discovery Channel, TLC, Netflix, Animal Planet, ID, Science, Motor Trend, OWN, History, A&E, fyi, VICELAND, Nat Geo Channel, Nat Geo Wild, truTV, mtv, WE tv, Bravo, SyFy, Oxygen, Sundance Channel, Ovation, Smithsonian Channel, HBO Documentaries and more

What's Inside:

Production cost benchmarks for 31 U.S. factual networks including Netflix

  • Network Budgets (What They Pay): High, Sweet Spot, Low

  • What kind of content each network is looking for (dozens of examples and ideas)

  • Key contacts: Who to pitch?

  • Viewing benchmarks: Ratings. Target demos. How many are watching?

  • Recent green lights and promotions

  • Producers who are working with the networks (these are potential partners for YOUR project)

  • What kind of deals are being made: Producer equity? Or Work-for-hire

  • Analysis, including mini-studies of the commissioning process for certain channels

  • Learn if your commissioning team is paying more or less than your competition

  • Tables ready for import into your presentations

About Peter Hamilton Consultants, Inc:

Documentary Business Consultant

Peter Hamilton

Peter Hamilton develops and implements television content strategies for leading media companies, governments and non-profits. He is a former business development executive with CBS International. For 30+ years, he has led the New York-based consulting firm Peter Hamilton Consultants. His network clients have included: Discovery Communications, A+E Television Networks, Smithsonian Channel, CBS, NBC, Rainbow Networks, National Geographic Channel, BBC Americas, Scripps Networks, Weather Channel, CBC Canada, ABC Australia and many others. Mr. Hamilton has worked extensively with government agencies to develop and successfully implement policies that build market-driven Factual television sectors. These clients include Enterprise Ireland, Singapore’s Media Development Authority, South Africa’s dti and Screen Australia.

Production Cost Benchmarks for 31 U.S. Factual Networks & Netflix

Learn what the top channels pay for original programs, documentaries, specials and reality series.

Sweet Spots 2020:
TV Rates & Financials

by Peter Hamilton Consultants, Inc

Go behind-the-scenes with this exclusive in-depth guide and learn what 31 U.S. factual networks pay for original programs, documentaries, specials and reality series. In addition to programming trends, commissioning processes, key contacts and more...
Sweet Spots 2020

"Peter Hamilton's reports capture his brilliant strategic analysis of the always-changing documentary business."


By: Tom Jennings - CEO, 1895 Films (2020 PGA Producer of the Year, Peabody and Emmys.)