Beta brunch offers TV series feast

Showcase featured classical music, upcoming series

CANNES — Meatballs and an eclectic lineup of fast-paced programming were on the menu Tuesday at the annual Beta Film brunch at Mipcom.

Topper Jan Mojto was on hand to glad-hand buyers and the creme de la creme of the German industry.

Mojto wisecracked about the challenges of convergence and new platforms.

“If any help is necessary, our staff would be happy to help you to view our programming on video-on-demand or on your mobile phones,” he said.

The programming showcase featured everything from classical music to upcoming series such as the Rome-set co-production “Donna Roma,” “Six Days” and “The Obsession.”

The show reel contrasted sharply a Sunday presentation of a number of weighty historical dramas parent company EOS is producing together with German-based teamWorx. Their upcoming productions include a feature and miniseries on the ill-fated Hindenburg airship and the British warship Laconia.

“We are expanding into new areas. We aim to have a wide variety of programming just like in the Kirch Group days,” said Beta sales honcho Dirk Schurhoff, referring to the former owners of the Beta library and his previous employer.

According to Schurhoff, miniseries, TV movies and telenovelas all are selling well at the market. There has been an increase in demand for mobile content, an area in which the company is not yet active.

Unlike years gone by, when select networks would be tied into long-term output deals for years at a time, Schurhoff said the turnover rate of programming deals has changed tremendously.

“There are so many more new niche channels and so much demand that we are doing deals a lot more frequently, but often for six months at a time,” he said. “Return on mobile programming is minimal at this point for a lot of work.”

Beta recently added 22 hours of programming to its classical music library, which it likewise acquired from Kirch.

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