13,500 TV industryites gather at Mipcom
There were 4,623 international acquisitions execs at the event, which wrapped Thursday. This number included more than 1,000 buyers from digital platforms.
An array of talent hit the red carpet to support the screenings of their shows, including MacDowell and co-star Dylan Neal for Hallmark Channel’s “Cedar Cove,” which is being sold by Beta Film. Sky Atlantic, Canal Plus and Shine International brought over the cast of “The Tunnel,” including Clemence Poesy and Stephane Dillane, CBS Global Distribution Group flew in the co-stars of sci-fi hit “Under the Dome,” Dean Norris and Rachelle Lefevre, and Starz sailed in with the cast of pirate epic “Black Sails,” led by Toby Stephens and Hannah New.
Supermodel Naomi Campbell hosted a screening of “The Face,” which she exec produces, and ITV Studios jetted in Jack Davenport and Zoe Boyle as part of its “Breathless” promotion. British actresses Emily Mortimer and Dolly Wells repped “Doll & Em,” which they are producing for Sky Vision.
In his keynote speech Wednesday, Katzenberg, the CEO of DreamWorks Animation, reflected the upbeat mood of the market. “I don’t think there’s ever been a time filled with so much new and unique opportunity for the world of television,” he said. Mobile and digital are an asset rather than a threat to the traditional television biz, he said. “By almost every single measure, traditional television viewing has not only remained robust, but has continued to expand.”
This was borne out by the deals announced during Mipcom, such as FremantleMedia’s multi-year digital agreement with Chinese portal YouKu for hundreds of hours of content per year for YouKu’s VOD channels. The shows that are initially slated to be involved include “The X Factor USA,” “America’s Got Talent” and “American Idol.” FremantleMedia CEO, Cecile Frot-Coutaz, reported in her keynote that she plans to expand the company’s operations internationally and in the digital market. She advised delegates not to delay in entering the digital space. “You want to make a play and you want to make a play quickly.”
Disney Media Distribution reported that “Agents of SHIELD” will appear on several Chinese online platforms offering VOD services, including Tudou, 24 hours after the U.S. airing, and Amazon’s LoveFilm VOD platform inked a pact with German rights giant Tele Munchen Group giving LoveFilm Germany SVOD rights to such titles as “Iron Man 3,” “Magic Mike” and “Midnight in Paris.”
French heavyweight broadcaster TF1 and pay TV giant Canal Plus became the latest media players to team up with Facebook to take advantage of the social media company’s analysis tools to track posts about their shows and identify advertising targets. “When social media intersected with television a few years ago, it was considered a really big deal,” said Dan Rose, Facebook’s VP of partnerships, during his Mipcom keynote speech. “Now the intersection is taken as a given.”
Web players are also helping to pump up the creative side of the biz. In his keynote, Amazon Studios director Roy Price explained how Amazon’s call for people to propose film scripts and television series pilots saw some 14,000 scripts and more than 4,000 pilots sent in. As a result, 24 films and 30 TV series are heading into development.
Mipcom organizer Reed Midem is ramping up its digital activity too. This week it announced that at Mip-TV in April it will launch the first MIP Digital Fronts, which will be a screenings event for original online video. “Mip-TV and Mipcom were built on the buying and selling of television programming. MIP Digital Fronts will be the first international marketplace where high-quality, original content for online web channels and app-based/OTT streaming video platforms will be traded,” said Reed Midem’s television division director, Laurine Garaude.
This year’s Mipcom confirmed that the film community is increasingly investing in television. Alongside DreamWorks Animation’s drive further into TV territory, The Weinstein Company, returning to Mipcom for the second time, announced during the event that it is now a production partner on the BBC’s event series “War and Peace.” And Mipcom welcomed as exhibitors for the first time U.S. film distributors Music Box Films and Cohen Media Group. Kavanaugh, Relativity Media’s founder and CEO, was in Cannes to promote two new TV series, “Limitless” and “Act of Valor,” both based on Relativity theatrical films. And Kavanaugh told his keynote audience that the newly-launched film sales division, Relativity Foreign, will handle the company’s growing slate of television series. Kavanaugh said that audience data, garnered from theatrical releases, would prove invaluable to developing TV series as Relativity harnessed input from online communities.
Reed Midem announced Thursday that the Country of Honor at next year’s Mipcom will be Mexico, which is the largest Spanish-speaking country in the world, and the largest producer of Spanish-language content. The Country of Honor program will be organized in partnership with ProMexico, the government agency that supports Mexican exports and is in charge of attracting investment to the country. Mipcom, which runs Oct. 13-16 next year, will organize a dedicated focus on Mexico’s television, film and digital media industries. It will feature conferences, screening showcases, co-production matchmaking and Mexican-themed networking events.