"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.
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.
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.
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.
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