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Documentary PRODUCTION
Budget ranges
Cost per Hour

Australian documentaries (not including broadcaster-produced titles) (current* and 2016 dollars), 1997/98–2015/16

Next update March 2018


The average duration per title for single documentaries has remained around 0.97 commercial broadcast hours over the 19-year period from 1997/98 to 2015/16, while the average duration for series has increased incrementally over the same time, reflecting the trend of longer-running titles.

For series, the cost per commercial broadcast hour (in 2016 dollars) averaged $306,2963 in the five years to 2015/16, slightly above the 19-year average, of $291,545 (2016 dollars).

For single titles, the cost per commercial broadcast hour (in 2016 dollars) has been rising: averaging $532,244 in the five years to 2015/16 compared to $439,755 over the 19-year period. In 2011/12, the average cost per hour for a single documentary title hit a record high of $699,747 (in 2016 dollars), up 51 per cent on 2010/11, boosted by a small number of titles with very high budgets.

In 2015/16, the average duration per title and cost per hour for both single titles and series portrayed similar traits to the previous five years.

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