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Documentary PRODUCTION
Budget ranges
Cost per Hour

Australian documentaries (not including broadcaster-produced titles) (current* and 2019 dollars), 1997/98–2018/19

Next update August 2021


There has been a steady increase in the average duration per title for both single and series documentaries since 1997/98. The average has remained fairly static in the five years to 18/19.

For series, the cost per commercial broadcast hour (in 2019 dollars) averaged $342,902 in the five years to 2017/18, slightly above the 22-year average, of $322,382 (2019 dollars).

For single titles, the cost per commercial broadcast hour (in 2019 dollars) has been rising: averaging $551,917 in the five years to 2018/19 compared to $488,993 over the 22-year period. In 2011/12, the average cost per hour for a single documentary title hit a record high of $728,689 (in 2019 dollars), up 44 per cent on 2010/11, boosted by a small number of titles with very high budgets.

In 2018/19, the cost per hour for both single and series titles was up on the previous year.

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