The Nonfiction Producers Association (NPA) – the professional body founded in 2014 to represent the non-fiction content production business in the US and Canada – announced today the results of its first annual Cable Network Survey. Designed by NPA leadership to help assess some of the major trends, issues, and challenges faced by producers of unscripted programming doing business with cable networks, the survey was completed by a total of 41 production companies participating, including members and non-members of the NPA.

This first survey focused on six major areas of concern to producers: preferences for pitching, executive creativity, development process, business affairs process, production editorial oversight, and production management. For each of the six questions/topics, respondents rated each network on a scale from one to 10, with one representing the least positive response and 10 representing the most positive. Final rankings represent the weighted average scores for each network.

John Ford, general manager of the NPA, said, “For many months, the NPA has been meeting with individual networks to further the producer-network dialog and suggest ways to improve processes. This survey, which is part of that effort, is meant to be a snapshot, from a producer’s point of view, of their current business climate, and we intentionally kept it contained to the six basic areas they say most influence the production experience.”

Survey results placed AETN’s History and A&E in the top two spots across the board, with the number one position varying between the two, based on category. Discovery, Lifetime, ID, HGTV or Travel ranked most often in third and fourth place, followed by 16 other networks with which respondents do the majority of their business.

Added Ford, “We acknowledge that there are some outside factors that add weight to the survey results, at least anecdotally. For example, it’s probably no coincidence that networks that buy the largest volume of programming, placed, for the most part, in the top 10 spots. We did tabulate the results to ensure the survey didn’t penalize networks that don’t buy what certain producers sell. Ultimately, this survey is specifically designed to offer information that can improve processes and better the relationships between producers and networks.”

Check out the full report here.

Founded in 2014, the NPA is the first professional body created to represent the non-fiction content production business in the United States, and now Canada. The NPA offers information and assistance to production companies, their staffs and production employees, conveying the strength and value of the industry, and promoting best practices that ensure production employees, independent contractors, vendors and other stakeholders have a voice and platform for meaningful discourse that can encourage and contribute to the continued success and welfare of all parties within the nonfiction television industry. Combined, the NPA’s member companies produce more than half of the non-fiction content on US broadcast and cable television, as well as online/OTT networks. For more information visit