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Documentary PRODUCTION
Budget ranges
Cost per Hour

Australian documentaries (not including broadcaster-produced titles) (current* and 2017 dollars), 1997/98–2017/18

Next update July 2020


There has been a steady but consistent increase in the average duration per title for both single and series documentaries since 1997/98.

For series, the cost per commercial broadcast hour (in 2017 dollars) averaged $337,812 in the five years to 2017/18, slightly above the 21-year average, of $310,809 (2017 dollars).

For single titles, the cost per commercial broadcast hour (in 2017 dollars) has been rising: averaging $525,715 in the five years to 2017/18 compared to $468,431 over the 21-year period. In 2011/12, the average cost per hour for a single documentary title hit a record high of $701,646 (in 2017 dollars), up 44 per cent on 2010/11, boosted by a small number of titles with very high budgets.

In 2017/18, the cost per hour for both single and series titles was down on the previous year.

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