Discop pitches innovation

Central Euro market to preview 250 TV shows

MOSCOW — Central Europe’s leading television content market, Discop, will offer buyers a preview of 250 international TV programs that have never before been licensed in the region the day before business officially begins on June 16.

Organizers of the 17th edition of Discop East — which will bring together 900 buyers, 500 sellers and 75 advertisers for the four-day event in Budapest, Hungary — have added the showcase of fresh programming as part of a package of extra services they hope will buoy market confidence.

“Our market is more and more centered on the preliminary organization of meetings between buyers and suppliers of TV content,” says Patrick Jucaud, who founded Discop in 1992 as a discount TV content market aimed at central and Eastern European buyers and now manages it for the National Assn. of Television Program Executives.

“Our ‘matchmaking’ services — which we improve every year — are becoming more important in the current difficult economic times,” he adds.The meet has also added a pitching session presented by Central and Eastern European content producers that will allow commissioning editors to see what is in the production pipeline.

Presented as part of the annual Discopro program — designed to promote television co-productions in the region — the pitching session will also take place the day before the market opens.

A third innovation this year is a conference on the benefits of working with direct-response television companies, a hot topic in the TV world as traditional advertisers pull back while broadcasters and cablers look for fresh revenue streams.

The conference, dubbed How to Turn Blocks of Air Time Into Gold, will examine methods and techniques to better market airtime to direct response companies.

Direct response TV companies — which promote home shopping, aid programs, charities, religion, poker and other goods, services or activities — buy airtime to run promotional content, or informercials, designed to persuade viewers to pick up the phone to place an order, make a donation or express an opinion, Jucaud says.

“Selling blocks of airtime to such companies requires special marketing techniques, different audience valuations, and logistical partnerships with service providers such as telemarketing specialists, fulfillment centers, telecommunications operators and payment processing services,” Jucaud adds. “Many television stations in central and Eastern Europe are well-placed to take advantage of the opportunities presented by direct response companies.”

Jacaud’s Basic Lead shingle has recently opened an office in Los Angeles “to better service our South, Central and North American clients, especially newcomers,” he says.

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