Documentary Business

Peter Hamilton Consultants, Inc

UK Broadcast Trends: Documentary / Unscripted Category Defies Gravity: Top 100 Gain in 1H 2019

Here’s a quick and very interesting late Summer post for my readers who value the UK factual market:

  • I checked the average audience across the UK Top 10 and Top 100 for the 5 years since 2015 in the Documentary & Lifestyle categories.
  • I expected to see a steady decline as British viewers drifted away from the broadcasters to Netflix, YouTube and other online viewing platforms.
  • I was wrong!


  • The average audience for the Top 10 for 2019 is bettered only by 2016, when the British nostalgic magazine Countryfile was on a tear.

  • This year’s average across the Top 100 for the Documentary & Lifestyle categories reveals a big gain versus previous years.
  • The quality and audience appeal are distributed across the list of most-viewed programs rather than concentrated at the top.
  • The data is for the highest-rated episode of a series, and not season average.

UK Broadcasters vs Netflix