The organizers of Cannes TV market and conference Mipcom have set a September deadline to decide on the fate of the October event.
As it stands, Mipcom is set to go ahead in the fall, running from Oct. 12-15; however, sources tell Variety that Reed Midem will wait until Sept. 1 to make a decision on whether or not the event can go ahead — a move that has caused some concern among execs keen to make decisions on fall events as early as possible.
Mipcom, which opened registrations last week, is a major date in the global industry calendar, and last year drew more than 13,000 delegates to the French Riviera.
Because Reed Midem’s spring MipTV market — which is flanked by popular U.K. Screenings and LA Screenings events in February and May, respectively — has seen dwindling attendance in recent years, the October confab has become a must-attend event for the TV industry, and generally draws U.S. studios and global SVODs.
This year, Mipcom is considered especially key for buyers and sellers given MipTV’s cancellation in early March, as well as the dearth of any physical gatherings due to the global coronavirus pandemic. While virtual showcases and digital screenings have helped international distributors conduct business and maintain relationships with buyers — Reed Midem also scrambled to get virtual event MipTV Online Plus up and running in April — October’s market is still seen as a crucial event for the launch of new TV programming.
Industry execs have raised an eyebrow at the September 1 deadline set by Reed Midem, with concerns that the organization is “blindly ignorant” of the financial challenges facing numerous businesses in the wake of national lockdowns and production shutdowns, as well as the advance planning required for travel arrangements and the construction of stands in the Grand Palais. Variety understands some firms are also still working out their refund options for MipTV.
The decision-making process sits in stark contrast to advertising market Cannes Lions, which definitively announced in early April that its plans for an October event were not going to happen.
A likely scenario, however, is that Reed Midem is waiting for the situation in France — one of the hardest hit countries in Europe with more than 24,000 deaths to date — to improve, much like the Cannes Film Festival, which recently delayed its planned late June to early July event and is now eyeing a fall fete as well.
Earlier this week, France banned festivals gathering more than 5,000 people until September — a directive that puts many of the country’s fall events in a difficult position.
Reed Midem declined to comment on its September deadline.