H’wood heavyweights key to Mipcom

Industry VIPs talk shop at trade show

A quartet of Hollywood heavy-hitters will participate as keynoters in the upcoming Mipcom TV trade show in Cannes in October.

MGM’s Harry Sloan, Disney’s Anne Sweeney, ESPN’s George Bodenheimer and NBC Universal’s Beth Comstock will each deliver an address shaped around the exec’s specific expertise and global approach to the biz.

U.S. participation is the most high profile at the Mipcom conference in years and a reflection of the growing importance of the global TV market to Hollywood businesses.

Sloan is the only one of the four who’s a regular attendee of the sister Mip and Mipcom markets, having run the European station group SBS for more than a decade before joining the Lion nine months ago. The other speakers all run businesses that are blossoming on the world stage but have not been regularly involved in these confabs.

The Mipcom organizers said they are building on “the huge success” of April’s Mip TV confab, which drew a record 2,600 participants. (The Mip TV programming market attracted 11,000 attendees overall.)

The official “Reshaping Media” conference, which will run Oct. 9-13 alongside the Mipcom program market, will focus on the changing landscape for traditional TV content and the advertising biz as well as film financing and distribution abroad.

Panels and workshops devoted to the opportunities offered by the Internet and mobile TV will be presented.

Sloan, who is chairman-CEO of MGM, will discuss the newly invigorated business strategy of the Lion, concentrating on new strategies for distributing movies to TV outlets and on channel operations abroad.

Sweeney, who is co-chair of Disney Media Networks and prexy of the Disney-ABC TV Group, will focus on the impact of digital on all forms of media and how companies may best address evolving consumer behavior.

Bodenheimer, who is president of ESPN and ABC Sports, will analyze the reasons for and strategy behind the growth of the ESPN brand both domestically and internationally.

Comstock, who was recently named prexy of digital media and market development at NBC U, will discuss how her company is morphing in the digital age and how content players can capitalize on new-media opportunities abroad.

“We look for the best experts in the field when we put together our conferences. Since VOD, Triple Play and IPTV are at very advanced stages of distribution in the U.S., each of these key chief executives (has been chosen) to offer a clear view of their vision, strategy and business model to our delegates,” said Mipcom’s organizer Paul Johnson.

Both Mip and Mipcom are owned by Reed Midem, which like Daily Variety, is a property of Anglo-Dutch conglom Reed Elsevier.

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