MIPTV Launching Digital Version Following Coronavirus Cancellation

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Organizer Reed Midem has set up an online platform as an alternative to the international television market, which was called off due to concerns around the coronavirus.

MIPTV has become the latest industry event to go online after the coronavirus forced the international television market to cancel its bricks-and-mortar event.

Organizer Reed Midem on Wednesday said it was launching a digital platform, MIPTV Online+, to provide companies with a stripped-down, virtual version of MIPTV 2020, which was set to run March 30-April 2 in Cannes, as well as the nonfiction and formats markets, MIPDoc and MIPFormats, originally programmed for March 28-29.

MIPTV Online+ will launch March 30 and will be available for free for all those registered for MIPTV, MIPDoc and MIPFormats.

The online platform will let buyers stream programming scheduled for the MIPTV Drama Buyers’ Summit, as well as from the MIPDoc Screenings Library. The online service will also stream the In Development, MIPDoc and MIPFormats project pitches, as well as MIPTV’s market intelligence conference sessions, Fresh TV and the Factual and Kids Content Showcases.

“Our clients are unable to come to MIPTV in Cannes, so we are bringing MIPTV to them," said Lucy Smith, Television Division Deputy Director at Reed Midem. "Nothing replaces face-to-face meetings, but MIPTV Online+ content, networking and access to the international entertainment business community is totally unique.”

Reed Midem canceled MIPTV in early March amid growing fears over the spread of the coronavirus but before the French government put the entire country on lockdown.

On Wednesday, the Cannes Festival's film market announced its own digital market, which it says will run alongside the regular, physical Marche du Film. Cannes' online initiative is set to run May 12-23 during the market's scheduled dates. As of this writing, the Cannes Film Festival and adjacent market were still insistent that they will hold the regular bricks-and-mortar event.

French TV festival Series Mania launched its own digital platform earlier this week, unveiling a digital forum where attendees could pay for access to pitching sessions and curated screenings of series from its buyers' showcase.

Other big television industry events, including the New York upfronts, where U.S. networks present their new TV series, have been canceled, with individual companies looking to do digital unveilings instead.

Last week, the major studios canceled the L.A. Screenings, where international network executives fly in to screen the latest new American programming. The studios that spearhead the screenings — Disney, NBCUniversal, Sony Pictures, ViacomCBS and Warner Bros. — said they were exploring alternative options for the annual program showcase.