DISCOP East sees boost as biz blossoms

Market grows in attendance by 20%

BUDAPEST, Hungary -- With an ever-increasing number of broadcast channels and television companies emerging across Central and Eastern Europe, the territory is outpacing many of the world's fastest-growing TV markets, industry observers said as DISCOP opened Wednesday.

According to Patrick Jucaud, GM of DISCOP East, the region's largest TV content market, Central and Eastern Europe has surpassed Asia and Latin America as a market for television programming.

This year's DISCOP has seen a 20% increase in the number of participants, now at just under 2,000.

"For the past two to three years, things have really taken off in Central and Eastern Europe, there are more local casters and there is more competition for your product," said Christina Muller, territory manager for East European TV sales at BBC Worldwide.

Muller and her team have inked a deal with Croatian public broadcaster HRT, selling more than 300 hours of drasma and factual entertainment. She added that BBC Worldwide's Eastern and Central European sales have doubled during the past two years.

Meanwhile, there is a trend toward gradually switching from traditional licensing to selling formats.

"More and more markets want to do something that looks like it comes from themselves," Muller said. "The format is now a big investment for them."