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MipTV Re-Calibrates as Global Market Evolves (EXCLUSIVE)

In a clear sign of the shifts in the international TV business, BBC Studios, Fox Networks Group and Endemol Shine will not have stands at this year’s MipTV market in April, but organizers of the event report an uptick in registrations from Australia, France, and China, among others.

MipTV remains the second-largest TV market of the year after its larger sister event, Mipcom, in October. But the U.S. studios typically opt to keep their powder dry for the May screenings in L.A., preferring to focus on Mipcom later in the year, and the U.K. has emerged as a pre-MipTV go-to destination for buyers in recent years, with All3Media, Cineflix, Fremantle, ITV Studios, MGM, and Sony all having held showcases in London this month.

That has stolen some of MipTV’s thunder, although Laurine Garaude, head of the Television Division at organizer Reed Midem, said that “the major companies will be at MipTV.”

“In some cases they will be participating in different ways, and that’s according to their own strategies and specific needs and we respect that,” Garaude told Variety. “I think also people will do MipTV in different ways, but that is how the market is evolving and we respect that.”

BBC Studios’ huge Showcase event in Liverpool, England, earlier this month – which was attended by 700 delegates and featured over 400 hours of new programming launches – spurred the other U.K.-based distributors to put on their own screening sessions, aware that hundreds of acquisition execs were in town with their checkbooks in hand. Now, BBC Studios has said it will relinquish its regular spot at MipTV in Cannes, a large space inside the Palais des Festivals. It will still have sales folks on the ground.

“With the launch of BBC Studios, we are looking to increase our investment and participation at Mipcom in October,” a spokesman told Variety. “Our presence at MipTV in April will be focused on production and formats.”

BBC Studios is expected to have a stand at Mipcom in October. The same is true of production and distribution giant Endemol Shine.

“We won’t be running our stand at MipTV, with more of a focus on Mipcom,” the company said in a statement issued to Variety. “Producers from across the group will still be attending and accrediting on a case-by-case basis for MipTV, and we will continue to take advertising around the market. We will operate the stand in our traditional location at Mipcom in October.”

Endemol Shine is again the subject of takeover talks, with Banijay – which will be at MipTV – attempting to get a deal done. But the future ownership of the company is not a factor in the MipTV strategy, sources say, noting that Endemol Shine informed Reed Midem that it would not attend MipTV shortly after Mipcom last October.

Fox Networks Group Content Distribution is also giving up its MipTV stand. The Fox unit is one of the assets being acquired by Disney, which focuses on Mipcom.

A raft of international stalwarts confirmed that they will be making the April trek to Cannes. The likes of A+E, All3Media, Beta Film, CBS, Federation, Fremantle, Kew Media, and ITV are among those who will be peddling new wares at the market, despite some of them having hosted their own screenings earlier this month.

New initiatives at MipTV this year include a buyers’ exchange to facilitate meetings between acquisitions execs and sales firms. Reed Midem is also making a greater effort to reach out to producers and writers to broaden the event beyond buying and selling – a recognition that production and creative discussions are taking place earlier than before – and to involve more parties.

Specific drama, kids, and factual sections will feature in MipTV’s In Development program, which was launched last year as a forum for projects-in-the-making. The development initiative will now run for the duration of MipTV.

“In Development expanded immensely since last year when it was a launched,” Garaude said. “Content development has become this second big pillar of MipTV, which we can see as two markets in one: distribution and content development.”

Reed Midem also said there was an uptick in registrations from Russia, the Middle East, and South Korea. The U.K. is down, and Garaude said there may be a possible Brexit effect.

In terms of regional events, Reed already has its own country and region-specific events, Mip Cancun and Mip China. MipTV also works with the CanneSeries event, which is in its second year and has its own Mip Drama Screenings with world premieres.

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