The Global 100

One thing you'll definitely notice about this year's Global 100 -
March 1, 2008

One thing you’ll definitely notice about this year’s Global 100 – realscreen‘s list of the world’s top independent production companies – is that lifestyle and factual entertainment are far better represented than they were the previous times we did this report.

The reason is simple enough: this year’s list is based on ratings. Previously, we polled the non-fiction industry itself to discover what it considered to be the most influential shows and prodcos in the world. This time around, we went to the broadcasters and asked each for a list of their highest-rated shows from 2007. In other words, this installment sees viewers deciding which production companies make the Global 100.

In all, about 70 broadcasters provided their lists of top non-fiction and factual shows, translating into a spreadsheet weighed down with more than 500 different titles. From that sizable list, we were able to come up with a list of the top 100 independent production companies in the world.

Due to the manner in which the list was assembled this year, two main caveats need to be addressed:

First, it has to be acknowledged that broadcasters have limited marketing budgets, and only a select group of shows will get a helping hand. Those that do are likely to get better ratings. (Although many of those shows are largely produced in-house – the enormously successful Planet Earth series, for example – and as such were largely ineligible for the listing.)

Second, the listing was very much dependent on the responses of the broadcasters, and in some cases (France and Germany especially), broadcasters were not forthcoming with their lists. That translated into far less non-North American and non-uk prodcos than in previous years.

We also allowed one other change to this year’s chart when it came to two UK-based companies. Given the consolidation occurring there in the last three years, a true indie has become an extremely rare thing in Britain. Half of the companies listed in the Global 100 have ties to – or are outright owned by – another company. (Those connections are noted on the chart.) Given those conditions, it seemed a little arbitrary to exclude Granada America and FremantleMedia, as we have in previous years. We continue to exclude companies whose main business is broadcasting, but those two companies are primarily producers and therefore should be included.

Lastly, we’ve indicated which companies are new to the Global 100 this year. (As compared to last year, though they may have appeared earlier.) We’ve also attached an ‘Honorable Mention’ tag to companies that appeared on fewer broadcaster lists than those which with they are listed. Their work is notable and merits placement on the Global 100, but in most cases the notation comes because it was only a single show that rated highly or made number one on a single broadcaster’s listing.

Congratulations to all the companies who made the realscreen Global 100 list for their work in 2007. Keep up the good work.

Notable companies include:

Galafilm (Canada)
Frantic Films (Canada)
The NFB (Canada)
FremantleMedia (UK)
RDF Media (UK)
Brighter Pictures (UK)
Darlow Smithson Productions (UK)
Pioneer Productions (UK)
IWC Media (UK)
Pie Town Productions (US)
Original Productions (US)
Reveille Productions (US)
3Ball Productions (US)
51 Minds Entertainment (US)
City Lights Television (US)
Edelman Productions (US)
Michael Hoff Productions (US)
Nash Entertainment (US)
True Entertainment (US)
Granada America
Endemol (Netherlands)
Beyond Productions (Australia)

For the complete Global 100 2008,
please click here

About The Author
Daniele Alcinii is a news reporter at realscreen, the leading international publisher of non-fiction film and television industry news and content. He joins the rs team with journalism experience following a stint out west with Sun Media in Edmonton's Capital Region, and communications work in Melbourne, Australia and Toronto. You can follow him on Twitter at @danielealcinii.