Mart revs hot start

Mipcom sales market bows today

It may be fall but the heat is on as the Mipcom sales market bows today in sweltering temperatures expected to be high even by French Riviera standards.

Ninety new exhibitors are in Cannes, including Miramax, which has big ambitions for TV.

Celebs including Kiefer Sutherland and Ashley Judd are in town to hype new dramas “Touch” and “Missing,” respectively.

More than 4,300 TV buyers are expected to attend the four-day event, according to organizers Reed Midem.

Overall 12,500 delegates have booked for the market, up around 200 on a year ago, said Reed.

With Western economies fearful of another recession and worries about advertising revenues in parts of Europe as the currency crisis threatens to derail countries beyond Greece, Mipcom appears to be defying gravity.

The exhibition floors at the Palais des Congres were sold out by August as broadcasters, producers and distributors seem more determined than ever to collaborate on big international projects.

“People have learned to do business in a different way since the last financial crisis,” said Laurine Garaude, director of Reed Midem’s TV division. “You’ve only got to look at the growing number of co-productions and partnership deals.”

Driven by social media, TV audiences continue to grow in many of the traditional markets, suggested Garaude.

And there is a willingness by rights holders to ensure their content is available on mobiles and other connected devices, bringing a new dynamic to the TV market.

Non-Western companies are especially conspicuous at Mipcom, with Russia hoping to make a big splash in Cannes.

About 150 Russian TV companies are present at the Palais, up 15% on 2010, according to organizers.

The Russians will host a co-production forum and a keynote from Channel One Russia CEO Konstantin Ernst.

“Russia has one of the fastest growing media industries in the world so we’re hoping this focus will enable the international community to establish business ties with Russian partners and seize opportunities to work together on new projects,” Garaude said.

Russia now boasts 330 TV channels, including 20 free-to-air nets and a booming online advertising market worth €3.2 billion ($4.3 billion).

Mipcom is also featuring pavilions from India, Indonesia and Turkey for the first time.

“We’ve noted record attendance from Asian participants, with large delegations from Japan, Korea, China, India and Singapore with the biggest spike coming from Malaysia,” said Garaude.

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