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Amazon unloved in NPACT survey

US producer body NPACT has revealed its annual survey findings, with Showtime voted as the favourite US network or platform to deal with and Amazon among the worst.

John Ford

The Network Survey from NPACT, which was formed in 2017 after the Nonfiction Producers Association and PactUS merged, included responses from 48 member and non-member production companies.

They rated advertising-supported cablenets, broadcast networks, premium/pay cable networks and OTT platforms, with Showtime emerging as the favourite to work with.

CBS, A&E and History took the next three places respectively, while Viacom-owned MTV was the least favourite. Amazon rated second worst among producers.

The US streamer, which has rejigged its senior commissioning team over the past six months, also rated worst on the pitching process, and third from bottom in the programme development process.

It asked producers whether execs’ expectations regarding funds were reasonable, whether decisions were made on a timely basis and if projects rights reverted back to producers.

MTV and Amazon also took the bottom two places when producers were asked about executives’ understanding of their company’s brand and programming needs, including whether they gave clear feedback about projects in development.

History was the producers’ favourite when it came to business affairs, with Amazon bottom, and the streamer was third from bottom regarding production editorial oversight and the notes process. MTV and VH1 took the penultimate and last places respectively.

Among all networks and platforms, A&E and ID (tied) were cited in the top 10 across more categories than any other network, followed by History, DIY and then CBS.

Other networks consistently listed in the top 10 across multiple categories were ABC, Bravo, E!, FYI, HGTV, Lifetime, NBC, NatGeo Wild, Netflix, Showtime, Smithsonian, truTV and YouTube Red.

ID and Smithsonian Channel each received the top ranking in two categories. The former came first in executives’ understanding of a network’s brand and needs and most respected network, while Smithsonian ranked highest in the development process and editorial oversight and notes.

Producers named Oxygen as the network that most improved its processes in the last calendar year with Amazon second, while Apple came top in the pitching process category.

John Ford, general manager of NPACT, said the survey offered “detailed, comprehensive information about producers’ perceptions of networks and OTT services amidst a climate of unprecedented change.”

“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.”

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