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Showtime, CBS, A&E named best networks to work with: NPACT survey

The second annual survey of the U.S. network landscape from producers advocacy organization NPACT has been released, with some new names taking top spots in comparison to last year’s survey. Showtime, ...
January 24, 2018

The second annual survey of the U.S. network landscape from producers advocacy organization NPACT has been released, with some new names taking top spots in comparison to last year’s survey.

Showtime, CBS and A&E took the top spots, in that order, for “best networks to deal with overall” for producers. Closing out that category were Amazon and Viacom-owned MTV and VH1.

The survey polled NPACT members and non-members on 46 networks – cable nets, broadcast nets and major SVODs – in 11 categories. Producers ranked their preferences across eight categories: pitching; development; executives’ understanding of network’s brand/content needs; business affairs; editorial oversight/notes; production management; finance; and scheduling/promo support.

Respondents from the 48 production companies polled rated each network on a scale from one to 10, with one being the least positive score and 10 the most positive. The average scores for each network were then taken to give a final ranking. However, the “Most Improved” and “Most Respected” networks were determined by tally of votes, not rankings.

This year, the survey included streaming services such as Netflix, Apple, Hulu, Amazon and YouTube Red.

A&E and Investigation Discovery tied amongst all networks and platforms for appearances in the top 10 across more categories than any other networks, followed by History, DIY and CBS.

NBCU’s Oxygen was named the network that had most improved in the last year. Amazon, History, Netflix and Discovery rounded out the top five in this category. Meanwhile, TBS/TNT and TLC made the bottom of that list.

Global tech co Apple took the number one spot for the best in the pitching process category. A&E and ID came in behind Apple, respectively.

Among all networks and platforms, A&E, ID and Netflix were tied as the companies producers most respect, with History and Bravo as close contenders.

Elsewhere, Smithsonian and ID each received the top ranking in two categories: ID in executives’ understanding of networks’ brand/needs and most respected network – tying with A&E and Netflix, and Smithsonian Channel ranked highest in development process and editorial oversight/notes.

Also taking top spots were NatGeo Wild in the production management category and FYI in financial.

In scheduling/promo support, NBC, Fox and ID took the top three spots.

“This latest survey offers detailed, comprehensive information about producers’ perceptions of networks and OTT services amidst a climate of unprecedented change,” said John Ford, general manager of NPACT, in a statement (pictured). “From pitch to post-production, a broad swath of producers – large and small – rates the vital production process; NPACT’s goal is to improve that creative process, however we can, and our surveys aim to do just that.”

Last year, two surveys were conducted concerning the producer/network dynamic, from the two American trade organizations that existed at the time – the NPA and PactUS. Those organizations merged to become NPACT in June of last year.

(With files from Barry Walsh)

About The Author
Jillian Morgan is a staff writer at realscreen with a background in journalism and digital marketing. She joined the publication in 2019 after serving as the assistant editor to trade publications HPAC and On-Site. With a bachelor of journalism from the University of King's College in Halifax, she also works as a freelance writer and fact-checker.

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