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Hungarian mart draws hungry biz

Eastern Europe trade show reaches record numbers

Discop, the only international TV program market dedicated to the Central and Eastern European content biz, has notched up record registration for its 15th edition, which runs June 22-24 in Budapest.

The healthy numbers were unveiled Tuesday by the trade show’s general manager, Patrick Jucaud, and by NATPE prexy-chief exec Rick Feldman.

The National Assn. of Television Program Executives became Discop’s joint-venture partner in December and has already lent its marketing expertise to the Hungarian event.

The buoyant stats reflect a general uptick in economic activity across a broad swathe of Central and Eastern Europe.

Some 750 buyers are expected, up 40% from 2005, while 300 program sales firms are signed up — 200 as program exhibitors, including 100 who are attending for the first time.

Attendance is reckoned to top out at 1,250, up from last year’s 989. (The more established, and more global, Mip TV market in Cannes each spring generally draws 11,000-12,000 attendees.)

“We are witnessing significant growth in television, cable, satellite, telco, DVD, mobile and broadband platforms in Eastern Europe,” Jucaud said. “More companies are now considering Central and Eastern Europe as mature territories that can no longer be properly serviced at other international markets.”

“International sales organizations are increasingly recognizing these territories as important and dynamic marketplaces for all forms of traditional and emerging content,” Feldman added.

New players include the Korean Broadcasting Commission and the Taipei Hsien Computer Assn., which are setting up a Korean and a Taiwanese pavilion, respectively.

Some 22 Gallic companies will be repped at the TVFrance pavilion. The EU-funded European Marketplace pavilion will host 18 Western European distribs, and the Istituto Commercio Estero will be home to 12 Italian program suppliers.

Among the Hollywood contingent signed up to exhibit so far are CBS Paramount, MTV Networks, Sony Pictures TV Intl. and Lionsgate.

Special events include a welcoming party June 22 organized by the Brussels-based Assn. of Commercial Television Europe; June 21 seminar “European Television Dialogue”; and a June 23 telenovela gala hosted by Dori Media’s Viva Channel and Zone Vision’s Romantica Channel.

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