Petersburg to host TV market

France and Russia have teamed up to launch a new television market and festival in St. Petersburg, it was announced Wednesday.

Marketskaia will bring most of the East European TV networks to the historic Russian city June 7-10.

Market organizers said they expect between 80 and 100 buyers at the event and a similar number of sellers.

The market is the brainchild of local TV station Petersburg Channel 5, which went to Bruno Huchez of French toon company IDDH to help organize the new operation.

“It’s a major challenge,” admitted IDDH exec Gerard Dijoud. “We have relatively little time to sell ourselves before June. Our problem was that we couldn’t announce Marketskaia until we were sure that St. Petersburg could deliver what is required at a TV market.”

Unlike last year’s debut Discop discount market in Warsaw, Marketskaia is likely to have a stronger showing of European sales execs than U.S. companies, and there is little talk of discounting.

“We believe that the interest in the market is because Western companies want to establish relations with the East European networks. We don’t think people will come simply to dump old catalog material,” said Dijoud.

The four-day event will take place in the Manege Palace — a short walk away from the three international hotels that have been booked to house attendees.

During the market, Petersburg Channel 5 will present a selection of what it considers the best product currently being screened on East European TV. “This is going to give sellers a chance to see what shows are drawing big audiences,” noted Dijoud.

Marketskaia will also host a four-day festival of West European programs, with awards to be made in eight categories.

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