Ampere Analysis: Discovery Led Global Commissions in 2021


According to Ampere Analysis, Discovery was the greatest global commissioner of TV shows in 2021, with a record-breaking 556 first-run TV titles commissioned last year.

This extends Discovery’s lead of 46, recorded in 2020, to 153 titles by the end of 2021.

ViacomCBS was in second place with 406 titles, compared to Netflix’s 403. Disney had 387 first-run shows, the BBC had 373 and Comcast had 353. This group of six pulled further ahead of their global rivals through 2021, with each supporting the expansion of their own SVOD services. WarnerMedia also accelerated throughout the year, but not enough to rank in the top six.

For 2022, the key will be those shows commissioned but not yet released—the in-production slate. Discovery’s typical commissions (largely documentaries) have a shorter production timescale and are lower cost and less high-profile than titles on Netflix’s still predominantly scripted slate.

Netflix is set to release most of its 243 in-production TV titles in 2022 (with an additional 106 movies), which will push the overall slate of original releases to over 2,000 titles.

These figures for 2021 exclude the U.S. majors’ growing SVOD movie slate. Combined, they have commissioned 74 movie titles specifically for SVOD. However, adding Netflix’s 203 commissioned movies in 2021 would push the global streamer into first place (though via a less direct comparison).

Among all the TV shows currently being produced by Disney, 58 percent are now originals for its streaming platform, Disney+. WarnerMedia follows closely behind with 85 titles for HBO Max, representing 48 percent of the shows it currently has in production. Titles destined for VOD make up 39 percent of ViacomCBS’s current slate and 28 percent of Comcast’s.

Richard Cooper, research director at Ampere Analysis, said: “2022 will see further additions to these content slates, as the studio-backed VOD services continue to expand both their original catalogs and subscriber bases, both domestically and, increasingly, internationally.”