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MIPCOM's Roy: expanding by one market a year? Not really.

MIPCOM is virtually sold out. Every nook and cranny has been taken by exhibitors. Even the Sunset Marque Club. the space on the third floor, has been rented (to Twentieth Century-Fox). MIPCOM is unquestionably a major success story and, against all odds, is growing every year.

For the first time this year, MIPCOM is organizing a "special event," The Youth Programming Screenings, which will unfold at the Hotel Martinez October 9, two days before the main market at the Palais. Prior to the market opening, approximately 150 buyers from some 42 countries had registered for the new "junior MIPCOM" Youth Screenings section along with 113 distributors and producers from 18 countries. The registration fee for the screenings is FF 8000 for two people, which covers presentation of four programs.

Caught in New York last month. prior to going on to Dallas for the National Association of Broadcasters Radio Convention, Xavier Roy, head of MIP-TV and MIPCOM, defined the key to the markets' success as 1.) a first-rate, smoothly coordinated team, and 2.) a willingness on his part to listen to complaints.

"I ask people all the time 'How do you think we could improve the markets?'" Roy said, "Some can't even think of an answer. Others cite specific complaints, and I try to meet them. Of course, I'm quite aware that the situation is different from the major companies to the smaller independents."

As of 1994, Roy will also have to worry about a new market, in Hong Kong. He chose the city because of its proximity to China, its excellent convention hall, and the availability of nearby hotels.

Roy announced that, for the Hong Kong market, "minimal space" will be sold in a package that will include the flight, the hotel and the booth. "I don't call the Southeast Asia n event a market, like MIP-TV," Roy said. "I call it an Asian Conference."

Roy expects the Hong Kong event will be large and will produce excellent results. However, he denied--with a laugh--the report that MIDEM, the parent company of MIP-TV and MIPCOM, plans to expand by one new market a year for the next couple of years.

Even a MIP-TV in Latin America isn't necessarily a given. "NATPE gets a very good Latin turnout. It may not be necessary or even desirable for us to have a MIP-TV in that part of the world," Roy noted.

Is MIP-TV making money? "We show a n ice profit," commented Roy, adding that the parent company allowed him to retain and reinvest part of the money.

In a curious way, the establishment of the Youth Programming Section reflects Roy's conviction that the future of television as a whole is in "niche" broadcasting.

On another note, Roy said the new French government, so far, had little impact on the domestic audio visual scene. "I feel that, eventually, they will adapt to the realities of the market," he commented.

Roy predicted a continued lively future for international television and said that, increasingly, the U.S. companies would have to work with the Europeans. "Europe used to be just a plus," he said. "Now, with production costs up so much, it has become a must."

But, MIPCOM isn't just a showcase for the latest programs produced for the new TV season, Global Entertainment, for example, will allow MIPCOM participants to tryout for its Virtual Reality contest. CEL International will present a laser disc format that allows immediate access to any part of The Video Encyclopedia of the 20th Century. Canal Plus' Media Lab will have its real-time animation system on display. As far as seminars are concerned, the European Commercial TV Association (ACT) is organizing a conference on October 12 on "New Technologies and European Regulations."

Among the new first-time exhibitors, MIPCOM will have Rysher, the U.S. production and distribution company famous for its Highlander co-production.

Finally. MIPCOM is becoming famous for its "Man of the Year" celebration which, true to is sobriquet, seems to only honor top-level, male superachievers. This year the honor will be bestowed upon Gaston Thorn, president of the Luxembourg-based CLT conglomerate, owner of RTL. the satellite TV networks, among other media companies.
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Title Annotation:Xavier Roy
Publication:Video Age International
Date:Oct 1, 1993
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