A+E Nets Top Producers’ Cable Network Survey


NEW YORK: North American nonfiction producers have ranked HISTORY and A&E as their top cable networks to pitch to and work with, according to a new survey.

The Nonfiction Producers Association (NPA) queried 41 outfits for its first annual Cable Network Survey, assessing preferences for pitching, executive creativity, development process, business affairs process, production editorial oversight and production management.

John Ford, general manager of the NPA, said, “For many months, the NPA has been meeting with individual networks to further the producer-network dialogue and suggest ways to improve processes. This survey, which is part of that effort, is meant to be a snapshot, from a producer’s point of view, of their current business climate, and we intentionally kept it contained to the six basic areas they say most influence the production experience.”

On the pitching scale, with 10 being “most want to pitch to,” HISTORY topped at 8.1 followed by A&E at 8. Discovery Channel, ID, Lifetime, HGTV, Food Network and National Geographic were all ranked 6 or higher. In terms of executive creativity, HISTORY ranked 7.7 and A&E 7.5. HGTV, Discovery Channel, Lifetime and ID were listed at 6 or higher.

Ford added, “We acknowledge that there are some outside factors that add weight to the survey results, at least anecdotally. For example, it’s probably no coincidence that networks that buy the largest volume of programming placed, for the most part, in the top 10 spots. We did tabulate the results to ensure the survey didn’t penalize networks that don’t buy what certain producers sell. Ultimately, this survey is specifically designed to offer information that can improve processes and better the relationships between producers and networks.”