Few exhibitors and competition from larger markets has led to the demise of this year’s London Programme Market. Managing director Tim Etchells says that while the number of buyers had steadily risen since the event began eight years ago – 830 attended last year – fewer distributors have made room on their calendars for the market.
‘There’s been considerable consolidation amongst the major distribution companies in the U.K., and that means fewer exhibitors,’ he says. Add to that the growth of such markets as NATPE, MIPTV and MIPCOM, and the result is that the LPM couldn’t compete.
Says Etchells, ‘I didn’t feel there was sufficient interest out there this year to be able to create a market that the industry would be proud of, so my view was to quit while we were ahead.’
Plans are in the works to replace the LPM with British Television Week, which will include some broadband interests. Explains Etchells, ‘We’re looking at developing an event where the advertising community can meet some of the specialist channels – the cable and satellite channels – because that doesn’t happen very much at the moment in Europe.’ Scheduled for November 2001, the new endeavor will also include a forum, to encourage the discussion of formats, rights and funding, he adds.
Kim Thomas, director of TV sales for London’s NVC Arts, welcomes the idea of a re-tooled event. ‘I think for a market to change to reflect the way content is being distributed is right on point, and I think they need to broaden their reach to include internet delivery, broadband, video-on-demand, and so on.’
Etchells says that he and the other organizers of the new event will likely shop around for partners (pact, the Producers Alliance for Cinema and Television, already shares ownership).