What a difference three years makes.
International TV Marketplace MIPTV returns this week – the Cannes-based TV conference runs April 4-6 – for an in-person event for the first time since 2019.
When the small-screen executives last made the spring trip to the French Riviera, there were big questions about MIPTV’s survival. The annual market had seen a drop in attendance, particularly among large US companies, which preferred to focus their global sales efforts on MIPCOM’s largest market in the fall. There was also a sense that MIPTV’s focus on traditional broadcast networks and sales operations was disconnected from an industry increasingly tuned into streaming services and the discovery of new talent. .
For its in-person return, MIPTV attempted to address these issues and, according to MIPTV Director Lucy Smith, to make MIP “a three-day business efficiency market” with a greater focus on drama series. world. MIPDoc and MIPFormats, formerly standalone one-day marketplaces for documentary and reality TV/entertainment content, respectively, have been incorporated into the main event. “MIPTV needed to improve return on investment for customers, which meant allowing people to tailor their presence to suit their needs,” Smith says.
Organizer RX France expects nearly 5,000 executives from 150 companies to make the trip to Cannes this year, about half of the 9,500 registered in 2019. Smith notes that concerns over COVID-19 continue to grow. have an impact on companies’ decisions to let executives travel, underlined return of major studios (Sony, Disney, Parmount, Warner Bros., Fox Entertainment, Lionsgate) as well as global streamers Amazon and HBO Max sign that the market bounces.
What’s clear is that two years of coronavirus lockdowns and pandemic protocols haven’t slowed the international boom in TV series. The volume of new drama series continues to skyrocket as global studios and streamers pump money into non-US productions and regional powerhouses such as France’s Canal+, Germany’s RTL and Scandinavia’s Viaplay, redirect budgets from acquisitions of American series to investments in local originals. .
A recent white paper, produced by Whip Media in partnership with MIPTV and published ahead of this year’s market, showed how US content, while still dominant in Europe, is in decline and international programming is gaining ground. Over the past three years, overall viewership of US content in major European territories (France, Germany, UK, Spain and Italy) across all platforms has declined by an average of 10%, while non-English language programming , from neighboring countries but also from abroad, took over.
“We’ve seen gains from Spanish programming in France, from Canadian programming in Germany,” says Eric Steinberg, head of research and media insights for Whip Media. “Of course the success of individual shows has an impact, so the increase in Spain’s share has a lot to do with the success of [Netflix’s Spanish thriller] Money theftthe increase in Korean viewership has a lot to do with squid game. But there’s a feeling that new shows will have an audience no matter where they come from.
Steinberg also sees a major impact in Europe from recent government policy requiring streaming services to maintain a quota of at least 30% European-made shows on their platforms.
These quotas and the growing popularity of non-US shows, in Europe and around the world, have helped fuel an international talent frenzy and led to high-profile takeovers and corporate consolidations. Kevin Mayer and Tom Staggs’ Candle Media reach an agreement to buy children’s television producer Moonbug Entertainment (CoComelon, Blippi), valued at $3 billion, and Sony Pictures Television’s recent acquisition of Welsh cobbler Bad Wolf (Its dark materials), an $80 million deal that adds the company to Sony’s growing portfolio of UK production companies, joining The crown producer Left Bank Pictures and Sex education banner Eleven, are two of the most high-profile acquisitions that will be the focus of MIPTV’s conferences this year, with Rene Rechtman, CEO of Mayer and Moonbug, Wayne Garvie, President of International Production at Sony Pictures Television, and Jane Tranter, Founder of Bad Wolf, who will all be on the Cannes stage. .
“The opportunities for international producers and creators have never been greater, but the competition for talent has never been fiercer,” said Nico Hofmann, director of Berlin-based production group UFA (Germany 89). “How to find and retain top talent and not lose it to a global streamer is what keeps me awake at night.”