MIPCOM 2012: Promoters Bullish on Market Outlook Despite European Recession


American fare from "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo" to recent Emmy winner "Homeland" will be among the offerings at the Oct. 8-11 event in Cannes.

Special screenings too will put the accent on Yank fare, including the world premiere of the pilot of Fox’s upcoming series The Americans (for FX in the States) and Burnett’s first-ever docudrama The Bible for the History Channel, as well as a master class with NCIS exec producer Gary Glasberg.

“International relationships are increasingly important in our business,” said Garaude. “Participants want to stay ahead of the trends and they want to engage in highly targeted networking. People still need face time for complex funding and co-production arrangements.” 

It’s not just the Americans who will have a chance to shine on the Croisette. Every MIPCOM organizers turn the spotlight on a different country and its content creators. This go-round the focus is on Canada, which is enjoying considerable success in having its content travel beyond the Great White North. Also, organizers have selected Emilio Azcarraga Jean as their Personality of the Year this time around: The head of Mexico’s powerhouse broadcaster Televisa will be feted for his contributions to the global biz and his network’s impact on international programming.

As MIPCOM organizers put it, the intense four-day market is “the only place where you can network, do business, discover trends and cement partnerships face to face on a global business.”

Among those networking options will be two new events: a first-ever power lunch for women in the global entertainment business, with 150 invited guests and a panel featuring Dubuc, BSkyB’s Sophie Turner Laing, Fox’s Marion Edwards and Russia Today’s editor Margarita Simonyan, and a Latino lunch for global dealmakers, with the Cisneros Group’s Adriana Cisneros serving up remarks.

Not to be outdone, the Europeans too are flexing their muscles, especially as locally produced fare, both fiction and non, has improved in production values and popularity with every successive season.

In privileging their homegrown fare in primetime, major players like Germany’s RTL, France’s TF1 and Britain’s BBC have largely dislodged all but the top U.S. imports from those slots.

Intriguingly and most recently, emerging markets are revving up their own creative mojo. Turkish telenovelas, of all things, have nudged out American series in primetime and those “Istanbul-ish” sudsers are bubbling over into good time periods in the rest of the Middle East and into Eastern Europe.

“These are great shows that appeal to the audiences in those regions and do very, very well,” Fox’s Cornish pointed out. “We definitely see them as our competition." 

In fact, visible in the Palais convention hall will be a new emphasis on emerging territories whose indigenous content is attracting international attention. Three separate events will focus on the blossoming of creativity stimulated by the Arab Spring. Four Mideast mavens -- Ahmad Abdalatief, Sadek Sabbah, Bassam Hajjawi and Ziad Kebbi -- will converse on the theme of global opportunities for Arabic fare, while Turkey, givern its uptick in local fiction production, will feature in a separate sidebar chat.  

Scott Roxborough in Cologne, Germany, contributed to this report.

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