MIPTV 2007

Headlines from the international programming market

MIPTV buyers pay attention to new media

CANNES -- Sunshine and blue skies above the Riviera were matched by a renewed sense of confidence among buyers and sellers at MIPTV as the market began to wind down Wednesday.New market opportunities from broadband, IPTV and VOD suppliers in such territories as Hong Kong, Korea and Singapore as well as an upswing in growth in traditional and emerging markets in Europe and Africa combined to give distributors cause for cheer. More

Cyworld eyes global connection

CANNES -- Korean lifestyle media platform Cyworld is expanding into Europe this summer as part of its plan to create a globally connected community, according to Hyun-oh Yoo, president and chief executive of Korean telecommunications company SK Communications. Delivering a keynote address Wednesday at MIPTV on "Convergence and Lifestyle Media," Yoo outlined an expansion plan that also includes increasing Cyworld's profile in the U.S. and adding Warner Bros. movies to its downloadable programming slate later this year. More

Paramedia bringing 'Host!' to U.S.

CANNES -- Jim Paratore's ParaMedia has picked up U.S. format rights to hit German game show "Beat Your Host!" from ProSiebenSat.1 sales arm SevenOne International. ParaMedia will produce a U.S. version of the show together with Warner Horizon Television, Warner Bros. Television Group's primetime reality programming arm. The deal, announced Wednesday at MIPTV, follows ABC's recent pickup of Germany's No. 1 entertainment format, "Wanna Bet?" More

Senator takes control of Central

CANNES -- Senator Entertainment has acquired the remaining 49% of Central Film, giving Senator full control of the Berlin-based independent distributor. Senator will expand Central Film, which operates largely as a booking and billing operation, into a separate label in the German market, alongside the company's flagship theatrical arm, Senator Film Verleih. More

Reed MIDEM to launch Asian Amazia confab

CANNES -- Entertainment and media industries in Asia are expected to grow 10% a year until 2010. This was "the fastest growth rate in the world and double the growth in the U.S.," Reed MIDEM said Wednesday when announcing a pan-Asian event for international entertainment content across multiple delivery platforms. More

Beta Film, ORF take 'Rex' for walk

CANNES -- German producer Beta Film and Austrian pubcaster ORF are reviving beloved cop-and-dog series "Commissar Rex," one of the few non-U.S. series to become a pan-European hit. Beta and ORF have begun production on eight new episodes of "Rex," which will feature Italian TV star Kaspar Capparoni taking over the second-fiddle role of human partner to the crime-busting German Shepherd. More

Lolas to honor Mueller-Stahl

CANNES -- German character actor Armin Mueller-Stahl will receive a lifetime achievement honor at this year's German Film Awards, the Lolas. The 76-year-old actor is a veteran of film and television and first rose to fame in communist East Germany before leaving the country to become a star in the West. In the early 1990s, Mueller-Stahl attracted attention with the role of a circus clown turned New York taxi driver in Jim Jarmusch's "Night On Earth" (1991). He went on to appear in such films as "The House of the Spirits" (1993) and "Shine" (1996). Mueller-Stahl's performance in "Shine" earned him Screen Actors Guild and Oscar nominations. More

CBS Par Int'l TV inks first VOD deal

CANNES -- CBS Paramount International Television has inked its first-ever international VOD deal for current primetime programming, pacting with German group ProSiebenSat.1 for exclusive VOD rights to the current seasons of such hit shows as "Navy CIS," "Medium," "Numbers" and "Jericho." The deal, announced Wednesday at MIPTV, is for ProSiebenSat.1's German VOD platform maxdome. Under the agreement, the CBS Paramount series will be made available to German viewers a week before their local free-TV bow. More

April 18

German talent circles 'Baader Meinhof' biopic

CANNES -- A who's who of Germany's top talent is reportedly circling Bernd Eichinger's new production, the 1970s terrorist biopic "The Baader Meinhof Complex." According to German media reports, Eichinger has assembled virtually the same all-star cast he used in Oskar Roehler's "The Elementary Particles" (2006). Martina Gedeck, who last appeared in the Oscar-winning "The Lives of Others," is reportedly set to play Red Army Faction terrorist mastermind Ulrike Meinhof in Eichinger's film, which is already generating controversy before a single frame has been shot. More

Kinowelt signs YouTube deal

CANNES -- German indie Kinowelt has become the first German distributor to ink a deal with viral video site YouTube, announcing an agreement Tuesday that will see YouTube carry trailers, making-ofs and background material to Kinowelt films. YouTube will set up a dedicated site for Kinowelt content: www.youtube.com/kinowelt, which will feature everything from short film clips of upcoming Kinowelt releases to gala premieres, star interviews and making-of reports. More

Mobile TV a hot ticket in Europe, MIP

CANNES -- When it comes to the mobile phone industry, the common wisdom is that Asia is five years ahead of Europe, which is five years ahead of the U.S. So with mobile television taking off in such Asian territories as Korea and Japan, it's no wonder European and U.S. execs at MIPTV were scrambling to find out where the nascent industry is going. Mobile TV conferences were the hot ticket, with attendees packing conference halls and security turning people away. More

MGM gets another shot at 'Fame'

CANNES -- MGM is backing a remake of the 1980s musical "Fame" with "300" producer Mark Canton and Lakeshore Entertainment, MGM COO Rick Sands said here Tuesday. Sands also said that Tom Cruise and Paula Wagner's United Artists is "weeks away" from concluding a $500 million film financing fund with Merrill Lynch. "We're just finalizing the paperwork," Sands said. Press reports had suggested that Merrill Lynch was struggling to deliver a partner to fund the estimated $100 million equity portion of the debt-driven fund, but Sands dismissed the report as "just wrong." More

European mergers building a media giant

CANNES -- As European TV execs wheel and deal at MIPTV, there's an elephant in the room that everyone is thinking about but few are discussing openly: the upcoming merger of pan-European media group SBS Broadcasting with leading German commercial broadcaster ProSiebenSat.1. The deal, expected to go through by summer, will create a new giant on the European TV scene. A merged ProSiebenSat.1-SBS will be Europe's second-largest broadcaster and the only company capable of taking on the No. 1: Bertelsmann-controlled RTL Group. More

BVIT revamps Asia-Pacific sales division

NEW DELHI -- The Walt Disney Co.'s Buena Vista International Television-Asia Pacific has restructured its sales division, Hong Kong-based vp sales Greg Johnson said Tuesday. Mumbai-based Amit Malhotra, BVITV director of sales for India, will move to Hong Kong on June 1 to take over as regional sales director for Pan-Asia, India and Singapore. A hunt is under way for his replacement. More

Granada on-demand with Korea Telecom

CANNES -- U.K.-based Granada International has signed its biggest on-demand deal in South Korea as the country's largest telecommunications company, Korea Telecom, gears up for its commercial IPTV/on-demand launch in May. The two-year deal for more than 400 hours of on-demand programming was announced Tuesday at MIPTV. Korea Telecom's new MegaPass TV broadband platform is among the new digital TV operators driving demand and licensing fees for international content in Korea to new levels. More

BBC, Geldof to create 'Human Planet'

CANNES -- The BBC is teaming with Live Aid founder Bob Geldof to create what they claim will be "the biggest sociological and anthropological project in the history of the world," a combined television and Internet content repository that aims to record the history of every human society on the planet. The BBC will make an eight-part high-definition series "The Human Planet" to accompany the "Dictionary of Man" project that will be co-produced by BBC Worldwide and the BBC's natural history unit, creators of such project as "Planet Earth," "Life on Earth" and "Blue Planet." More

Big money locks up Ant and Dec

CANNES -- In an indication of the increasing value of entertainment talent, ITV on Tuesday said it has signed a two-year golden handcuffs deal with British TV quiz hosts Ant and Dec in a deal reportedly worth £20 million ($40 million). The deal puts the anchors of "I'm a Celebrity: Get Me Out of Here" and "Ant and Dec's Gameshow Marathon" in the upper echelon of the U.K.'s highest-paid television talent. ITV declined comment on the deal's value, but director of television Simon Shaps said the pair had become an integral part of the ITV brand. More

April 17

India, China, Malaysia boost Asia's MIPTV presence

CANNES -- Annual programming mart MIPTV opened Monday with a sharply higher presence from India, China and Malaysia making up for dips from elsewhere in the region. Asian distributors arrived in Cannes saying they expected the program syndication business this year to be up anywhere from 10%-100%. About 856 companies from 12 Asian countries are exhibiting at the show, according to pre-market figures from organizers Reed Midem. Overall, this is just under 7% up on MIPTV 2006's 784 Asian exhibitors. More

Green programming in bloom at MIPTV

CANNES -- Environmental programming exploded onto the mainstream agenda at the opening of this year's MIPTV television market, with debate about the role of the television industry in campaigning for environmental change engaging programmers, distributors and broadcasters alike. In recent years, debate at the Riviera-side program sales market has focused on changing distribution platforms and new mobile and broadband opportunities. But this year the extent to which concerns over global warming have spilled into mainstream entertainment was evident in the way panels, programming events, awards and program launches locked onto the role of the TV biz in growing environmental awareness. More

RTL's Zeiler: Traditional media is back

CANNES -- Gerhard Zeiler, the CEO of RTL Group and arguably the mightiest man in European TV, used the platform of the MIPTV confab to tell the industry that traditional media is back. In his keynote speech opening MIPTV, Zeiler argued that despite the hype surrounding new online operations and the mega-deals signed for YouTube and MySpace, that the future of "yesterday's media" (broadcast television) is stronger than ever. More

TF1 Group CEO wins Emmy directorate award

CANNES -- Patrick Le Lay, chairman and CEO of France's TF1 Group, will receive the International Emmy Directorate Award at a ceremony in New York Nov. 19th. Bruce L. Paisner, president and CEO of the International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences made the announcement at MIP-TV on Monday, calling Lay "the driving force behind Europe's leading network for the last 20 years." More

Endemol teams with EA for virtual games

CANNES -- Reality TV producer Endemol on Monday announced a major alliance with interactive entertainment software venture Electronic Arts -- creator of "The Sims" -- that will allow viewers to create avatars of themselves and play virtual games online inside such global formats as "Big Brother," "Fame Academy"and "Deal or No Deal." In a bid to attract the youth demographics that are abandoning television, Endemol chief creative officer Peter Bazalgette said the "Virtual Me" project would provide a strategic bridge for users keen on migrating to interactive environments. More

B'band deal shows Korea key for E!

CANNES -- E! Networks has closed a 100-hour broadband TV licensing deal with Korea Telecom's MegaPass TV broadband platform, E! Networks' Asia-Pacific managing director Christine Fellowes said Monday. An official announcement is expected this week. The MegaPass TV agreement comes in addition to the more than 325 hours of E!, Style, G4 and Versus programming E! announced has been sold in the Asia Pacific region this year as the MIPTV programming market got underway. More

User-generated content in at Shanghai Media

CANNES -- China's powerful Shanghai Media Group has launched a user-generated content strategy with three shows on three of its youth-focused cable channels. The announcement was made Monday on the opening day of the MIPTV programming market. The shows on lifestyle service Channel Young, music channel IN Star TV and Si TV Game Channel are offered as part of a deal for Auditions TV interactive software with Los Angeles-based media company, fix8. More

A&E partners with Astro All Asia

CANNES -- A&E Television Networks and Malaysia's monopoly satellite TV platform Astro All Asia Networks have signed a joint venture to launch and operate branded channels and services across Southeast Asia, Hong Kong and Taiwan, the companies said in a joint announcement Monday. The first two channels to roll out under the AETN All Asia Networks Pte Ltd joint venture are The History Channel and Crime & Investigation Network. The Biography Channel will follow. More

Decision has major 'Effects' for German TV

CANNES -- A controversial German TV movie about the Thalidomide birth-defect scandal of the 1960s is finally going for sale at this year's MIP-TV after a precedent-setting court decision. For a U.S. audience, "Side Effects" seems like a typical MOW. It is a dramatization of the true story of the German lawyer who, after his daughter was born deformed as a result of the drug, took on the pharmaceutical industry and won the world's largest-ever damage settlement to that point in time. More

April 16

Green pix heat up MIPDOC

CANNES -- Get big and go green where the two messages coming out of this year's MIPDOC, the annual two-day international nonfiction confab held in Cannes ahead of this week's MIPTV. The Oscar-winning success of Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth" has set off a wave of environmental docs that are heating up the international marketplace. Among them is the ambitious "Earth From Above" series from France Television Distribution, which uses high-definition technology and satellite imaging to trace environmental degradation; and the green game show "Wa$ted! Waging War on Waste" from the U.K.'s All3Media, in which contestants compete to see who can best reduce their family's environmental impact. More