MIPCOM gets thumbs up all round

Deals 'as eclectic and international as the people attending'

More MIPCOM coverage

CANNES -- Describing deals as being "as eclectic and international as the people attending the show," MIPCOM organizers delivered Thursday their final summation of the still-ongoing but winding-down sales bazaar.

Among a potpourri of pacts and deals trumpeted here in the Riviera resort Reed Midem execs singled out a half-dozen to illustrate the variety of new partnerships and the robustness of transactions.

Those mentioned included Japan pubcaster NHK's tie-up with France Televisions for docs and nonscripted fare; Discovery's sales of 200 hours to various takers across Europe; Disney's deal for movies and series with Orbit in the Mideast; and the BBC's agreements for a stunning 800 hours of programming to Eastern European clients.

In addition, 1,200 delegates from Asia, especially animation players, made the trek, and a few, a splash.

"MIPCOM is now the largest gathering of animation companies in the world," said Reed Midem TV topper Laurine Garaude.

There was also a noticeable contingent of global consumer brands at the bazaar including Red Bull and Skechers, doing business with content franchises and new media outfits like "Power Rangers" and Facebook.

And the galaxy of stars who graced the Croisette -- from "Mad Men" leads Jon Hamm and Elisabeth Moss to Kiss' Gene Simmons -- added sparkle to the corporate proceedings. It was one of the biggest turnouts of celebs ever, organizers pointed out.

As per usual at the Cannes trade show, a few indie distributors pointedly came to town to make a splash or a statement: Zodiak brought a huge contingent of staffers and some wacky reality formats, Entertainment One strutted with some high-profile fiction product, and France's Banijay impressed with some buzzy titles.

The seven-day MipJunior/Mipcom event also featured an annual Personality of the Year, Jon Feltheimer. The Lionsgate co-chairman/CEO put his finger on the challenge for the biz -- and for trade shows like MIPCOM as they strive to keep up with changes in the industry.

"We need to create new relationships, relationships with people who install telephone lines and build mobile networks, relationships with people like billionaire Mark Zuckerberg, 26-years-old, who connects millions of people through bits and bytes," he remarked during a keynote speech Tuesday.

Final number of participants, 12,400, is up from the most recent recession-impacted editions, and not far below historic highs.
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