You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

International Newswire: MipCancun Reflects Shift of Power in TV from Distribution to Production

In today’s International Newswire, TV executives head for the latest edition of content market MipCancun; Telefonica’s Movistar + acquires two Danish series; and Cannes launches a screenwriting residency with backing from Canal Plus.

MEXICO CITY — As this International Newswire is published, 600-plus TV buyers, distributors and production executives will be boarding or coming off planes on their way to TV market MipCancun in Mexico. With business more brisk than ever, there will be fewer time for trips to the playa or caipirinha-drinking than ever over the three-days of the confab.

MipCancun was born in 2014 as a Latin American buyers’ market for foreign (read U.S., some European) content. This came as pay-TV was booming in Latin America. The market rapidly attracted top-echelon sellers who attend to this day. Companies present at 2017’s event include Warner Bros., Lionsgate, Miramax, Sonar, Paramount, Discovery and Viacom, and the BBC, Arte, Federation Ent., Lagardere and Vivendi from Europe.

But, in industry terms, 2014 was way back then. The same tectonic shifts felt in the U.S. business are playing out over Latin America.

Pay-TV growth in Latin America looks to be tapering off. But SVOD penetration will near double by 2021, up to 31.1 million customers, as average broadband speeds passed Netflix-enabling 4MB in last quarter 2016 and family entertainment spend continues to grow, according to Erik Brannon, at IHS Markit.

This needs some explaining. So MipCancun has beefed up its conference program to near full-on Mipcom-style intensity, with A&E Networks’ Edward Sabin, showrunner David Greenwalt (“Grimm”) and The Gersh Agency’s Roy Ashton delivering keynotes. Making MipCancun all the busier, as established TV players reposition in an ever more digital distribution environment as content creators rather than TV distributors, MipCancun is launching a Co-production Matchmaking Market: as audiences fragment and TV ad markets erode, TV players need to band together to ensure they’re making competitive series. Caribbean cavorting may have to wait.

In a meeting of two of Europe’s TV giants, Telefonica’s Movistar + has acquired two Danish series, one conceived by “Borgen” creator Adam Price — faith-themed drama-thriller “Ride Upon the Storm” — and the other by “The Killing” creator Soren Sveistrup: Kidnap hostage thriller “Below the Surface.” Both are produced by Price and Sveistrup’s SAM Productions, co-owned by Studiocanal, an affiliate of Vivendi’s Canal Plus Group, and are on Studiocanal’s sales books.

Movistar + created waves at October’s Mipcom announcing at least 14 original series to be aired by year-end 2018. Vivendi and Telefonica-Movistar + have no grand alliance. But as U.S. global digital operators ramp up Euro sub-bases with a primarily English-language offer, both Vivendi and Telefonica are plowing into top European content, original and bought. Movistar + is already airing “Babylon Berlin,” bought from Beta, which in turn sells two Movistar + series. The contours of a like-minded European TV industry are beginning to take shape.

CanneSeries Institute, a residency dedicated to the writing of TV series, has issued a call for candidates for its first edition. The University of Côte d’Azur is partnering with Serial Eyes, a Berlin-based writing residency, to guide the work of the participants. Pay-TV company Canal Plus is sponsoring the program, which comprises a five-week immersion course for eight young international screenwriters. Each participant will produce a short bible and the pilot episode for a series. One writer will be offered a development deal with Canal Plus.

The residency, which will take place from March 5 to April 11, will form part of a project to create a university hub in Cannes, led by UCA and the mayor of Cannes, David Lisnard, devoted to the creative industries. The complete educational program at the Cannes campus will start in September 2019.

It is also linked to CanneSeries, an international festival devoted to TV series that will be held in Cannes from April 4-11.

More TV


    TV Review: Ava DuVernay's 'When They See Us'

    Television, lately, has had a particular fixation on the closed-ended crime story — narrative limited series that follow famous cases, using familiar figures to fulfill our desire for catharsis through justice. That makes “When They See Us,” Ava DuVernay’s new limited series about the 1989 “Central Park Five” incident and its legal repercussions, part of [...]

  • Lauren-Dolgen-Paramount-Network

    Paramount Network Poaches Lauren Dolgen From BuzzFeed

    Lauren Dolgen, after spending a year heading up BuzzFeed Studios, is coming back to cable TV. Paramount Network recruited Dolgen as senior VP, unscripted development and production. It’s a return to Viacom for the veteran TV producer, who in her nearly two decades at MTV created such franchises as “Teen Mom” and “16 and Pregnant.” [...]

  • 'Black Mirror' Season 5: Miley Cyrus

    'Black Mirror' Season 5 Episode Trailers Show Miley Cyrus as a Pop Star in Trouble (Watch)

    Netflix released three new trailers Tuesday for the fifth season of “Black Mirror.” Each trailer corresponded to a new episode of Charlie Brooker and Annabel Jones’ futuristic anthology series that comments on the state of technology and its role in human connection. In “Striking Vipers,” Anthony Mackie and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II star as estranged college [...]

  • James Corden and Reggie Watts behind

    'The Late Late Show With James Corden' to Return to London for Third Year

    “The Late Late Show With James Corden” will return to London for a third year of specials from the host’s home city, broadcaster CBS announced Tuesday. The show will once again broadcast four special episodes from London’s historic Central Hall Westminster from June 17-20. Corden has already lined up an impressive roster of celebrity guests [...]

  • Bob Newhart Tim Conway Remembered

    Bob Newhart Remembers Tim Conway's Fearless Sense of Humor

    This is for Tim. This is so everybody will remember him. I can tell just by the mail I’ve gotten in the last couple of days that he had a huge fan base that loved him, and they wrote me because they knew I was close to him. Tim grew up in Chagrin Falls, Ohio, [...]

  • RITA FERRO Disney Upfront 2019

    Broadcast Takes a Back Seat at the 2019 Upfronts

    This may be remembered as TV’s gap year — a transitional period between the way things used to be and the way they’re going to be. That was clearly evident last week at the network upfront presentations, the annual event where execs tout their new wares to advertisers. There was something different about this year’s [...]

  • Netflix Begins Production on Part-Yiddish Series

    Netflix Begins Production on Part-Yiddish Series 'Unorthodox'

    Netflix has announced the start of production on its Yiddish- and English-language German series “Unorthodox,” which is shooting in Berlin. The streaming giant is partnering with “Deutschland 83” creator Anna Winger on the original four-part miniseries which will be directed by “Deutschland 83” and “Deutschland 86” star Maria Schrader. Based on a novel by Deborah [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content