Digital gives Mip zip

CANNES — The 34th edition of the Mip TV market began winding down Tuesday, with market organizer Reed Midem chairman Xavier Roy reporting record attendance and announcing a new addition to next year’s market.

With Mip boasting two new exhibition tents, the snazzy Riviera Village and the more sober Palm Village, the number of exhibitors has soared, with 114 new companies present in Cannes. The biggest increases in exhibitors came from the U.S., up 17 companies to 123 and the U.K., which sent 95 companies to the mart.

Too big?

That provided plenty of new faces for the 3,000-strong delegation of acquisition execs to see, but left some Mip veterans wondering whether the market has become too big and too dispersed. The once-bustling main dragway in the basement of the Palais main venue now has only one U.S. major on it, Paramount, as the others have either headed up to the top of the building (Col/TriStar) or out into the Riviera Village (MGM).

The problem is only short-term, however, as the exhibition areas outside are tipped to disappear when Cannes completes extension work on the Palais.

Commenting on the high number of buyers at this year’s event, Roy suggested that they reflect the arrival of digital television and the growth of thematic channels now filling the digital platforms. Senior sales execs who have talked to Daily Variety, added that they have seen increased interest from Asian acquisition execs as Asian television outlets grow and competition for product increases.

Docus get their due

As industry execs began to wind down business in preparation for today’s final splurge in the market, Xavier Roy told reporters that next year’s Mip will include two days of documentary screenings, titled Mipdoc, prior to the main market opening.

For several years now Reed Midem Organization has been looking at adding a specific documentary window to its existing markets. Now Roy appears to have settled for two days of screenings, mirroring the kids program screenings that are Mipcom Junior. He confirmed that the Discovery Channel’s John Hendricks will be named Personality of the Year at Mipcom (Sept. 26-30).

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