Soft focus on mart

Next Mipcom must react to post-Sept. 11 world

CANNES — Next year’s Mipcom TV mart will reflect gentler entertainment product in a world that TV execs believe will still be reeling from the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the U.S. and subsequent military action.

Harder real-life formats will have to step back for lighter fare, according to Reed Midem’s TV division director, Michael Weatherseed.

Speaking at Mipcom’s closing press conference Thursday, Weatherseed said Mipcom 2002 will spotlight formats, their producers and customers.

He said that despite uncertainty after Sept. 11 and the bombings in Afghanistan, 89 countries were repped at the mart, the same as last year, and the number of companies present fell by 100 to 2,817. However, participants dropped by 15% to 9,841 with U.S. attendance down one third to 1,403. Japanese reps dropped to 202 due to a ban on travel imposed by companies, including pubcaster NHK.

But Weatherseed noted that there would have been a drop even without the attacks as the economic slump had begun to take hold. He added that 28 dot-coms represented last year had gone out of business.

On the other hand, South Korean attendance shot up from 49 to 201, and China sent a special guest, its advisory minister for TV matters.

“The Asian TV market is bouncing back, and China is opening up for buying and selling,” Weatherseed observed.

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