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Cloudy skies at MIP signal bright TV future.

It wasn't the most glamorous of MIP-TVs--the skies were filled with clouds, the stars were nowhere to be found and the number of parties paled in comparison to those at MIPCOM. But the business at MIP-TV 2005 was buoyant, and, after all, at the end of the day, that is what it's all about.

The number of registered participants this year increased from last year by 10 percent, with over 12,007 registrants attending the market. The number of stands increased by four percent from 2004 to 2005, with a total of 515 set up this year. The total number of buyers increased drastically (by 26 percent), from 2,868 in 2004 to 3,603 in 2005.

The Cannes market started out on a positive note and gained momentum from the successful MipDoc market. This year, the doc gathering recorded 15 percent more registrants than last year's event, with a total of 619. The second and third most screened documentaries at the market delved into the best-selling book "The Da Vinci Code": Channel 4 International's The Real Da Vinci Code and AETN International's Beyond the Da Vinci Code. The completely digitalized screenings during the pre-MIP market laid the groundwork for a very successful experience. "Buyers were telling me it was heaven," said Madeline McEneney of Faith & Values Media--which participated in MipDoc for the third time this year--who said that with each year, the number of people screening their material increases. "Buyers said there were no lines and it was extremely efficient. On Monday morning [of MIP-TV]," she said, "there were a couple of new buyers I was seeking who came to our booth and were interested in our programming ... that wouldn't have happened if we hadn't participated in MipDoc." She also pointed to another positive aspect of the doc market: "The Real Screen seminars provide added value," McEneney said. She described the small, informal group sessions as "a great way to interact with producers."

Once MipDoc was over, buyers and sellers could focus their attention on MIP-TV, and this year they came to Cannes ready to do some serious business, with some distributors even reporting on-the-spot cash sales.

As usual, new technology was a major topic at the market. With plenty of conferences dedicated to mobile technologies, interactive TV and high-definition programming, MILIA--the market for interactive content that runs simultaneously with MIP--took on an increased importance. As is becoming more common, many technology companies were among the exhibitors at the market. The fourth screen, which has been trying to pick up some steam for a while, finally seems to be gaining some serious momentum. One company which experienced its first foray into the international mobile market at MIP was E! Entertainment, which inked a deal with Telecom New Zealand, allowing subscribers to access short-form video streaming clips of E! programs via their wireless devices. According to Duccio Donati, vp, International Sales at E! Entertainment, "there is a huge future for mobile. It is certainly going to be a new source of revenue for us in particular," he asserted.

VideoAge investigated which territories were hot this year. According to Donati, Europe is back on the map. "There are pockets of activity throughout Europe. The flourishing of digital channels and the bigger roll-out of specialty channels have been very positive." In particular, he said, "Italy, which had been stagnant, is great now. The launch of Sky has caused a strong comeback. There is also a strong comeback in Germany." E! also distributes titles for G4--the video-gaming network--and Donati pointed to the increase in many male-skewing channels across Europe as a positive thing for that particular catalog. According to CABLEready's Gary Lico, "almost every [European] territory rep I've spoken with has one, two or more digital, broadband or niche channels."

Donati also added another hot territory to the list: "Korea is a huge market for us; it is flourishing with so many new channels." This year the attention shifted to Korea for an entire day, as Reed Midem designated Tuesday, April 12 a "Focus on Korea" day.

Though traditionally MIPCOM is a more popular market for the Latins than MIP (due to their tendency to attend NATPE and the L.A. Screenings instead), this year, more Spanish-language countries chose to attend the April market as well. "Usually MIP-TV is slower for me," said Fernando Barbosa, senior vice president, Sales at Buena Vista, whose focus is on Latin American sales. "But this year my schedule is completely full," he said, pointing to a calendar filled with appointments.

Eastern and Western Europe, Asia, Australia and New Zealand were also out in full force. "Eastern Europe is becoming more and more important to us. There is definitely a strong demand for kids' programming--and especially Canadian kids' programming--there," said Monica Veiga, sales representative at CCI Entertainment. There seems to be unanimous agreement among the executives that the burgeoning technologies and growing number of channels across the globe have caused an increase in buyers from all over the place.

When asked what common demands he sees coming from buyers, E!'s Duccio Donati said, "We handle so many catalogs [E!, Style, G4 and OLN], so we are selling to a full range of buyers, reaching almost every demographic out there. But one common characteristic I've noticed among all buyers is that they are very targeted. They know their audiences and are looking for something specific. We just have to make sure that we have product for those specific needs."

(1.) Korean TV was higlighted on April 12


(2.) CBS Paramount Intl TV's Armando Nunez, Joe Lucas, Sue Akens, Barry Chamberlain


(3.) The FremantleMedia contingent


(4.) Lakeshore Entertainment's Julie McLaughlin, Elisabeth Costa de Beauregard Rose and Peter Rogers


(5.) NBC Universal's Belinda Menendez


(6.) One of the MILIA panels


(7.) Power's Erik Pack, Eloise Tooke, Mark Dineley


(8.) RAI Sat's Carlo Sartori


(9.) & (10.) VideoAge's traditional MIP-TV Breakfast


Middle age seems to suit TV Globo just fine. At MIP-TV, the free-to-air Brazilian network celebrated its 40th birthday with a party at the Carlton Hotel (pictured above is the Globo International Distribution team). Guests got the feeling that they themselves were in a telenovela while surrounded by paintings from the sets. "We want to treat the press and buyers like stars; this time the clients are the talent, " said Globo's Patricia Hockensmith. TV Globo boasts a yearly income of $1.4 billion; telenovelera Globo TV produces around 2500 hours of programming annually, reaching 130 countries and 160 million people every day.

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Article Details
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Title Annotation:forecasts and trends
Publication:Video Age International
Geographic Code:4EUFR
Date:May 1, 2005
Previous Article:"Creating Television" is more than inspirational.
Next Article:Indie programming guide.

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