Mipcom numbers swell by 7%

New media, U.S. dramas, ad execs boost biz

New media, the influx of advertising execs and a robust market for U.S. dramas all fueled attendance at the 23rd Mipcom TV bazaar, up 7% to 13,295.

Exhibitors at the five-day trade fair and confab, which ends today, rose by 10% to 1,801. Program buyers were up 10% to 4,237.

“People are seeing real money, licensing from telcos on the VOD side, Internet and also mobile TV, though revenues are still limited,” said Paul Johnson, director of the Reed Midem TV division, on Thursday as traffic thinned in the Palais.

Unlike April’s Mip TV, it was Hollywood suits, not celebs, who took centerstage at Mipcom.

There was something richly symbolic in the presentation of the Mipcom personality of the year nod to CBS Corp. prexy-CEO Leslie Moonves, the webhead who launched “CSI.”

Coinciding with the second week of the U.S. fall season, Mipcom saw Hollywood dominating biz.

For key territories, most activity wasn’t straight sales. Rather, the majors talked through U.S. ratings and potential skedding overseas with their broadcaster and pay TV clients who, barring those in Blighty, are largely locked into so-called volume deals on a set number of series and movies each year.

Mipcom saw no U.S. newbie that overwhelmed the place. But Disney ABC’s “Private Practice,” NBC Universal’s “Bionic Woman” and Warner Bros.’ “Pushing Daisies” curried largely positive buzz.

U.S. international TV biz now runs a vast gamut, however.

One example: At Mipcom, Turner Broadcasting Systems announced content deals with Joost and YouTube — though only for bite-sized versions of popular shows, so as not to undermine their value in broad-based passive viewing markets.

Disney ABC hosted a press lunch to signal the passing of its international topper baton from Laurie Younger to Ben Pyne.

Meanwhile, non-U.S. companies also made a Croisette splash.

Brit TV presenter Chris Tarrant flew into Cannes to tubthump “The Great Pretender,” a quizshow format from RDF Media.

FremantleMedia, producers of “American Idol,” unveiled erotic period drama “Fanny Hill.”

One Mipcom trend was repurposing or even resurrecting inhouse properties.

Brazil’s TV Globo made a big push on plush, eco-themed novela “Amazonia,” offering it as 45 segs or a three-part mini, the latter targeting Western Europe and Asia, its new growth priority.

WB announced at Mipcom Junior that it’s reversioning “Banana Splits.”

Speakers at India Day touted the country’s huge market potential, especially for pay TV; a revolution in youth tastes; and Indian companies’ ambition to take on the world. And yet Star TV, one of India’s key feevees, was largely absent from the scene.

BBDO, Carat, Havas Media, WPP and Ogilvy & Mather were among ad agencies on the Croisette. Their presence repped what Johnson called “the probable holy grail for growth” in TV: product integration or placement and sponsorship driving ad-supported but free-to-consumer VOD.

The antipiracy move most talked up at Mipcom was broadcaster TF1’s pay-for VOD pre-release of the second season of “Heroes” before its terrestrial broadcast in France, but just one day after its Stateside airing, preempting illicit downloading.