DISCOP, NATPE launching new TV event

Istanbul-based content market set to kick off in March 2011

DISCOP and NATPE, organizers of the content markets DISCOP Africa and DISCOP East, have greenlighted a spinoff event in the Middle East to take place in Istanbul next year.

The event, which will take place March 14-16, 2011, at the Intercontinental Ceylan Hotel in the Turkish city, follows a recent survey of content vendors showing that two-thirds of respondents doing business in the Middle East and North Africa (a region known as MENA) have substantially increased their sales in the past two years.

The decision was unveiled Monday by DISCOP general manager Patrick Jucaud and NATPE president-CEO Rick Feldman.

The DISCOP Middle East bazaar is expected to attract 200-250 content buyers representing MENA public and private TV stations, home video distributors, closed-circuit networks, agents and territorial format brokers.

Alongside the market, a networking and pitching workshop will focus on intraregional co-production.

The region is becoming a sizable marketplace, with 80 million TV households, strong satellite penetration, 500 free-to-air channels, seven million pay TV subs, fast-growing IPTV platforms and healthy ad expenditures.

"With this launch, we are now in a position to deliver content licensing opportunities in several geographical zones that are becoming increasingly important for clients affected by the downturn in more developed markets," Jucaud said. "Central and Eastern Europe, Central Asia, sub-Saharan/North Africa and the Middle East are regions that are benefiting from the expansion of widespread, low-cost digital technology, the mobile revolution and fast-growing broadband penetration."