The rate of TV commissioning in the US dropped significantly in the second half of last year, and continues to remain low in 2023, according to a new report from Ampere Analysis.
The research company said the downturn is most profound for scripted content, where commissions in the last three quarters are down by 24% year-on-year – with overall volumes even lower than during the COVID pandemic.
Ampere said audiences will feel effects of a content deficit on screen later this year.
Fred Black, research manager at Ampere Analysis explains: “Scripted commissions at flagship subscription video on demand (SVoD) services are definitely feeling the impact of budget cuts – and the studios aren’t only cutting back at their streaming platforms, with pay TV networks like TBS, FX, OWN, Freeform, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, BET and AMC all reducing scripted commissions by over 50% when comparing the past nine months with the previous period. “
The one exception is Amazon which Black said is capitalising on cutbacks made by rivals by increasing commissions of comedy and sci-fi and fantasy shows.
“Investing in Scripted commissions now can pay off doubly for those willing to gamble, as the extra commissions will hit the market just as the output of original content from rivals drops to its lowest levels early next year.”