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More Americans head to MipTV

Organizers: All of the U.S. studios will attend this year

Eurozone TV execs may be feeling the pain of struggling economies but more Yanks are coming to Cannes for MipTV than in recent years, as the mart gears up to open on Sunday, a day earlier than usual.

“All the U.S. studios will be here,” according to Laurine Garaude, director of the television division at organizers Reed Midem. “Miramax will be at MipTV for the first time.”

Some 4,000 buyers are expected among the 11,000 industryites from 100 countries at the four-day sales extravaganza, in line with last year’s attendance.

Italy, Spain and Greece have scaled down their presence due to the continuing Eurozone crisis.

But beyond the continent, there is optimism about the levels of business likely to take place at the mart and its two-day side events, MipDoc and MipFormats, which kick off today.

“The numbers attending from the U.S., the U.K. and France are up,” said Garaude. “We’re expecting a dynamic trade show.”

Talent heading to Cannes includes Elle Macpherson, on the Riveria to hype Electus-produced “Fashion Star,” the cast of MTV’s “Jersey Shore,” helmer Morgan Spurlock and Brit screenwriters Paul Abbott, Andrew Davies and Julian Fellowes.

One of the biggest contingents outside the U.S. and Western Europe for the sales shindig comes from China.

State broadcaster CCTV is expected to unveil new co-production deals with major European broadcasters.

“The Chinese are coming to MipTV to co-produce and to collaborate. Having recently launched a new documentary channel, CCTV is looking for high-end factual shows,” Garaude said.

Among big exhibitors at MipTV is FremantleMedia Enterprises, whose CEO David Ellender drew attention to how diversifying beyond distribution is helping keep spirits up in tough times.

“We are continuing to strengthen our activities around sponsorship, branded entertainment, digital interactive, gambling, live events and children’s, as well as our more traditional licensing deals,” he explained.

“Certain markets like Greece, Italy and Spain are challenged but at the end of the day they still want to watch TV.

“It’s great when a show like ‘The Voice’ comes along even though it’s not one of ours.

“What it demonstrates is that there is still real demand for great entertainment shows.

“Far from being on the way out, the talent show goes from strength to strength.”

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