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Distribution one-on-ones: Gary Lico, CABLEready

In the run-up to MIPTV, realscreen has asked several acquisition execs to let us know what they'll be on the lookout for in Cannes, and also to give us their takes on market trends in factual programming. Here, Gary Lico, CEO and president of Connecticut-based CABLEready, shares his thoughts.
March 30, 2011

In the run-up to MIPTV, realscreen has asked several acquisition execs to let us know what they’ll be on the lookout for in Cannes, and also to give us their takes on market trends in factual programming. Here, Gary Lico, CEO and president of Connecticut-based CABLEready, shares his thoughts.

What are you currently looking to acquire, in terms of subject matter or genre?

Cakes and cupcakes are old news – we’re leapfrogging pies and going straight to tarts! But seriously, we have the most crime programming and are always looking to enhance that. Mostly, we welcome bright, fresh voices that benefit from the personal development, analysis and distribution services we provide.

Does CABLEready provide financing for projects?

At times, but only when we’ve worked with the producer successfully before.

What trends are you noticing in the market?

Paranoia and greed? More than ever. The pressure to perform for short-term shareholder gains has produced a ‘Get the next big hit, dammit!’ strategy which, for the most part, has created unnecessary tension – both on screen and off – and yielded far more lame copycats and misses than hits.

What is the state of financing like with broadcasters? Are we fully recovered from the downturn, or is it still difficult to get projects away?

Yes, we’ve recovered from the downturn, but it caused a re-calibration of everything – staffs, budgets, rights, territories… more of some, less of others. It is the Wild West out there, even for the big guys.

Which are the key projects for you at this market?

We have two dozen new original program concepts, many from a cadre of producers from Canada. We also have comedy, which is new for us – the sitcom Clunkers and the zinger-filled TV with TV’s Jonathan Torrens.

Which are the most important markets on your annual calendar for doing business?

NATPE, the two MIPs, a DISCOP here and there, the Asia Television Festival, maybe a Congress (Science or History), the LA TV Festival and, of course, the Realscreen Summit!

What is the key challenge for you in 2011?

Keeping it fun and keeping it real.

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