Mipcom attendance up by 9%

MUMBAI: The television trade event Mipcom which recently concluded in Cannes, France saw attendance of 15,900 people, about nine per cent more than last year.
More programme buyers than ever jetted in for the event to take advantage of new media platforms. Reed Midem television director Paul Johnson has been quoted in media reports saying that buyers from China, the Middle East and India, in particular, showed healthy increases.

There were 519 stands, an eight per cent increase, and 1,643 exhibiting companies, also an 8-percent growth rate. The number of exhibiting countries rose by five per cent, with new participants including Angola, Cambodia, Ghana, Kazakhstan, Macedonia and Sudan.

A report in Worldscreen states that at Mipcom Junior, registered companies were up three per cent to 529, with 53 countries represented. Sellers were up two per cent to 315, but buyers were down two per cent to 460, because of Reed Midem’s new policy of charging a flat nominal fee for all buyers to participate in the kids’ programming event.

The number of programmes presented rose by 12 percent to 937, and new programmes were up 22 percent to 562. Screenings on site rose by nine per cent to 42,848. The most screened program at Mipcom Junior was Aardman Animation’s Shaun the Sheep.

A report put out by Prensario International states that at Mipcom there were attempts to push new ventures in all the regions, in addition to ancillary businesses such as home video, merchandising, mobile telephony and digital platforms. It is noticeable how these last two items are growing, from any given show to the next one. The technology is ready, but the business models are not yet fully developed. Digital transportation of content and High Definition are two more specialties that are gaining force; those who have HD content available were able to close deals that are out of reach for those who don't. Regarding genres, there was a worldwide search for family and kid product, both live action and animated; programming about paranormal incidents is also intensely sought. At this Mipcom, Asia joined this trend with determination, states the report.

Markets that were traditionally closed are now opening its doors. This adds investment in structures and alliances that allow farther reach. An example: the deal signed at the show by Korean Broadcasting System (KBS) and Venevision International (covering the US Hispanic market and Latin America) by which each ally will promote its partner's product in its region.

Everybody wants Latin content - The report notes that in this emerging landscape, the demand for Latin product is growing. Telenovelas are be the new trend, both in the US based networks and the largest Western Europe networks; this effect is contagious to other territories, even those where the genre was mature, giving it a new life. And the most important thing: both local production and finished product are creating synergy, against what was initially expected to happen. This is key to keeping the Latin industry in upbeat mood.

That's why the Mipcom organisation produced, once again, the Telenovela Screenings, on the Saturday and Sunday prior to the official opening of the show. For the first time the genre became the subject of two of the billboards at the Palais des Festivals entrance, taken by Dori Media Distribution. The screening had positive results.

60 per cent more companies registered, 35 per cent more buyers attended and nine per cent more participating nations. 92 programmes were made available and 2,100 screenings were requested. On an average, the volume grew by 30 per cent compared to 2005. This is a significant increase, although the number of net participants remains focalized: 133 buyers vs. 99 last year.

RCTV International sales head Jose Escalante, stressed that they helped to have more meetings during Mipcom instead of reducing their number, since buyers requested more information. Tepuy's Accessory to Love was the most requested novela.

The production of Latin formats has exploded -from MipTV to this Mipcom- in Romania, Russia and Portugal; each of these territories has currently five or six projects under development. This, on top of what is being seen in Germany, Spain, France and Italy. Televisa -both in entertainment and novelas-, Telefé, TV Azteca, Dori Media, RCN and Tepuy/TVN Chile appear as leaders of this trend; and, there are independent first moves, such as Argentine producer CTV's, headed by actor Gabriel Corrado, who produces in Romania, and Chilean Feliú Group, which produces in Russia. In Eastern Europe, Romanian Mediapro Distribution is emerging in acquiring formats and producing.

At the same time, the report notes that US networks are launching their first telenovelas, with promising results. If they become successful, the market will open fully. As a matter of fact, Fox had acquired at first three telenovelas for MyNewtorkTV, and now has rights to seven of them, predominantly from Colombian Caracol TV. Disney meanwhile is selling to the world its version of RCN's Ugly Betty. Telenovelas are reaching the 18-34 target, which encourages investment.

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