The dust is settling from this year’s edition of MIPCOM, with new deals being announced with regularity. As part of our regular online Buyers’ Buzz feature, realscreen reached out to Yvonne Body (pictured), the London-based head of coproductions and acquisitions at Beyond Distribution, to find out her thoughts on the last market and the directions broadcasters will be taking in the year ahead.
How was MIPCOM, in your view? Busier for you than MIPTV?
We did find MIPCOM busier than MIPTV and most buyers more optimistic, if cautiously so. Buyers were doing deals.
Are there any particular deals for factual from MIPCOM that you’d like to mention?
Science Impossible, which is a fantastic new show from Atlas Media in New York attracted a lot of interest from its launch at MIPCOM. The program examines feats of endurance of the human body like fire walking, chainsaw swallowing and the like and scientifically investigates how those feats are humanly possible. We have just confirmed deals in Belgium, France and Latin America and there are numerous others in the pipeline.
What were you looking for in terms of content there, and now?
Broadcasters seem to be going for tried and trusted programming, so we were looking for very mainstream, broad appeal content. This decision has been borne out by buyers’ comments at meetings, so we will continue on this course. We are also seeking lifestyle content of all types, as this genre is in demand and doing well worldwide.
What do you think is a trend that’s emerged in factual content this past year that will carry into 2010?
As mentioned, broadcasters aren’t taking risks, so variations on things that have worked will be popular, rather than heading in new directions.
How has the rollercoaster of the global economy impacted what you do, on both the coproduction and acquisition sides? What has the climate been like for both?
On the acquisitions side, less is being commissioned, so there is more competition for what is out there and coming up. On the coproduction side we don’t actually do a lot of factual coproduction as we find that drama and kids coproductions work better [for us].