TV market attracts 800 buyers, 365 sellers

BUDAPEST — This year’s edition of NATPE’s Discop, Eastern and Central Europe’s leading TV market, is looking likely to be the busiest in its 18-year history.

The event, which bowed Wednesday in Budapest, has attracted 800 buyers and 365 sellers, organizers reported. It boasts 150 more buyers and 36 more sellers than last year’s event.

Although past editions of Discop have seen greater growth in some markets than others, this past year has been uniformly tough for all participants.

“The people here at this market are survivors,” said market general manager Patrick Jucaud. “They are still here and they have figured out how to do business in the financial crisis. They have found new ways.”

More than a year into the financial crisis, the key to survival has been flexibility.

Last year’s edition saw buyers slashing the prices they were prepared to pay for all types of programming, but sellers have adjusted to that now.

“This year, sellers are used to lower prices,” Jucaud said. “They are OK with it and business is being done.”

To compensate for lower licensing fees, flexibility is being shown in negotiating terms, such as length of rights ownership, volume deals and windows of exclusivity.

Business at Discop will be bolstered by the relative strength of the Central and Eastern European markets in relation to the ailing West. “There are more and more sellers from Central and Eastern Europe selling to Central and Eastern Europe,” Jucaud said.

There are also more co-production opportunities. “This region is a place you can find partners,” Jucaud said. “They are as good as any Western European partner, and even better because there is more money.”

The event wraps Friday.

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