Documentary Business

Peter Hamilton Consultants, Inc

MIPDoc Takeaways: Copro Model Under Fire. Aussie Financing Solutions

This week: two video snapshots of cofinancing trends after our lively panel at MIPDoc.

Off The Fence Managing Director Distribution Bo Stehmeier (above) explains why there is a trend towards presales and away from copro’s.
  • The further context to this structural shift is that the cab/sat channel sector has reached maturity and is tending to shed viewers rather than gain them.
  • An aging audience is losing its sizzle with youth-seeking advertisers.
  • Overhead at networks is under scrutiny, particularly across headcount, and for positions like Legal/Business Affairs that are not revenue-generators.
  • The pressure on Development and LBA teams is intensified by the complexity of  Scripted specials.
  • Another key factor is that the major channels are global brands. Their mandate is to own content outright so that it can be freely distributed across their platforms and territories.
  • For example, at MIPDoc, Tim Pastore, Nat Geo Channels US president for original programming & production emphasized that his mandate is to own rather than coproduce. NGC has been more open to copro’s than other major global network brands like A+E and Discovery.
And WildBear Entertainment CEO Michael Tear describes how Australian funding schemes and licenses serve as a base for international co-financing.
  • WildBear’s experience is a reminder that networks spend billions on new factual production each year.
  • Producers get attention when they come to the table with financial solutions and appealing programs.

More Reading / Video

Killing Jesus was heavily promoted at MIPTV 2015.