Discovery extends TV commissioning lead in 2021 | Media Analysis | Business | News | Rapid TV News
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While the subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) giant’s commercial success rolls on, fuelled by commissioned content, it has been traditional media firms Discovery and ViacomCBS that have emerged a leaders in the commissioning stakes over 2021 according to research from Ampere Analysis.
Discovery Ampere 27Jan2022
Discovery was the greatest global commissioner of TV shows in 2021, with a record-breaking 556 first-run TV titles commissioned in the year, according to Ampere Analysis. This extends Discovery’s lead of 46, recorded in 2020, to 153 titles by the end of 2021. ViacomCBS pipped Netflix for second place with 406 titles, compared with Netflix’s 403.

Disney, the BBC and Comcast followed the leading pack were with 387, 373, and 353 first-run shows respectively. This group of six pulled further ahead of their global rivals through 2021, with each supporting the expansion of their own SVOD services. WarnerMedia, soon to merged within the Discovery organisation, also showed growth.

Through their in-production TV show commissions for their VOD platforms, the studios’ intentions are laid bare. Among all the TV shows currently being produced by Disney, 58% are now Originals for its streaming platform, Disney+.

WarnerMedia follows closely behind with 85 titles for HBO Max, representing 48% of the shows it currently has in production. Titles destined for VOD make up 39% of ViacomCBS’s current slate and 28% of Comcast’s. The data excludes the US majors’ growing SVOD film slate and 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, albeit via a less direct comparison.

Looking forward to 2022, Ampere said that that the key for the year would be those shows commissioned but not yet released; the in-production slate. It noted 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. The SVOD leader is set to release most of its 243 in-production TV titles in 2022, with an additional 106 films, which it says will push the streamer’s overall slate of original releases to over 2,000 titles.

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