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MipTV 2004: Day One Notes

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CANNES: Outside, the wind was blowing hard threatening to tear off the roof of the tent which houses the Press Club close to the Palais de Festivals in Cannes. The sun was bright and high in the sky, but it did not send the temperature soaring like it does in India. The ocean was a strikingly clean blue. And the croissette was more crowded than usual.

But inside the Palais, well, there was a buzz of activity as acquisition and sales executives, large media corporations, production companies moved around in a bid to stitch co-production, format and programme syndication deals. MipTV 2004 was on in full swing. Press announcements, conferences with a session on Brands and Integrated Product Placement, cocktails at the various booths it was all happening The highlight of the market this year was the Chinese presence at the market.

And amongst the thousands of executives from all over the world, what was heartening was the Indian presence. On the Air France flight from India this morning was the amiable Miditech founder Nikhil Alva who without much rest, just a quick change into formals, charged for the Palais. One came across Sony Entertainments Sunil Lulla and Tarun Katiyal - on the ground floor - who were brimming with energy in the wake of their tie up with Freemantle for Idols and the successful weekend block that they are developing for the channel.

Optymystix was present in full force with Vipul D Shah, Sanjeev Sharma and Rajiv Vyas seeking out new understandings of the formats and game show business from international companies. Star Indias representation came in from Shantanu Nalvadi and a bubbly Deepak Segal.

However the piece de resistance was the Zee Network booth  the largest an Indian company has ever taken up - which had a durbaan dressed in all the finery, a live puppet show, and even temporary tattoo (mehandi) artists. A livewire young team led by Punit Goenka, consisting of Ajay Gupta, Ashish Kaul was aggressively buying up content and promoting its DishTV DTH service. Clearly, here is a company with a mission. The network was expected to make an announcement about its alliance with Mondo TV for its group company Padmalya Telefilms. The company had planned a large scale bash with chairman Subhash Chandra, but it was called off after he could not make it.

The Bollywood Eros Network also had a well done up booth. And one came across Achal Mehra of Fifth Avenue Media who apparently is cobbling together something new.

The feel definitely was high energy. MipTV promises a lot and everyone was looking forward to the opening nights evening cocktail party.

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