Fox absent but buyers should be busy

As 11,500 execs descend on Cannes today, the mood is as good as the unusually hot weather heating up the Croisette.

Deals are already starting to flow, with many confident that the energy evident at fall’s Mipcom will continue on into the spring sales spree.

Organizer Reed Midem is confident that there will be enough content to keep buyers happy. It has cut back the event from five days to four to concentrate the buying action and appeal to cost-conscious execs.

“There are a lot of people here, and I think a lot of business will get done, but there are one or two big spaces where the U.S. studios used to exhibit that are empty this year,” said Jim Packer, prexy of worldwide TV and digital at Lionsgate.

Fox is absent, while Warner Bros. and Disney have scaled down their presence at the market.

But Alexandre Piel, Zodiak Rights’ Paris-based head of fiction, documentary acquisition and co-production, isn’t worried.

He feels that Mip TV has become more of a European market while U.S. companies wait for Mipcom to launch big dramas and animated series.

He added, “My priority is to meet European fiction drama and documentary producers.”

“It feels very busy,” said Laurine Garaude, director of Reed Midem’s TV division.

“TV advertising revenues are up, although they still haven’t returned to the level of 2008, but investment is returning to programming, especially to co-produced drama.”

New features at Mip TV include Connected Creativity, which brings together the entertainment, mobile media and technology fields; and Spotlight on 3D TV, organized by Sony and the Branded Entertainment Summit, backed by advertising, marketing and public relations agency Ogilvy & Mather.

Adding stardust to the Croisette are Eva Green and Joseph Fiennes, in Cannes to launch Starz miniseries “Camelot.”

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