DISCOP East picks up the pace

Sellers report increased interest in scripts

MOSCOW -- Western sellers appeared satisfied with the level of business at this year's DISCOP East as Central and Eastern Europe's largest TV content market entered its third and final day Friday.

"We closed a package with the Czech (pubcaster) Slovak television, with Bulgaria's DTV and DMI channels and Viasat Hungary for a total of about 1,000 hours," said Helge Koehnen, sales director and head of Eastern European affairs at Bavaria Media Television. "And there are more deals under way, as we either close deals here or initiate new ones."

"What I see now is increased interest in script rights, format and co-production," Koehnen added. "Buyers not only are looking to buy programs but are also interested in creative assistance and scripts."

"It's a bit busier than last year," said Jonathan South, director for international content sales at U.S. distributor AETN International, who is attending the DISCOP East for the second time. "There is a lot more movement in our suite." AETN struck several major deals with Czech, Romanian and Polish TV stations at this year's DISCOP.

In other news, BBC Worldwide closed a deal with Kazakhstan's leading terrestrial broadcaster, Kahbar Agency, for 180 hours of British programming.