News from MIPTV

Brits to file complaint with Reed Midem; MIPTV attracts more buyers, fewer delegates; ZDF Enterprises and C4 International sign major copro deal.
April 25, 2002

Despite Reed Midem‘s claims of another successful MIPTV, not everyone is happy with the way the company is running its events. Simon Willock, group head of factual for Southern Star and director of the British Television Distributors Association, says the BTDA plans to file a formal complaint with Reed Midem. High on the list of criticisms are ballooning costs and the unilateral decision to move MIPTV’s dates to March next year, which coincides with the end of the fiscal year in the U.K. If Reed Midem continues to ignore the concerns of the BTDA membership – which includes such heavyweights as Channel 4 and Granada – some may opt to stay away, Willock warns.

Other news from the annual Cannes event:

This year’s MIPTV (April 15 to 19) attracted 2,600 buyers, an increase of 20% from last year, according to Reed Midem. However, suspicions that traffic was thinner on the market floor were accurate, as the total number of delegates was down to 10,200, a drop of almost 1,000.

Staff of French pay TV operation Canal+ cut their MIPTV meetings short following news of chief executive Pierre Lescure‘s dismissal. Most reportedly returned to Paris the same day.

Germany’s ZDF Enterprises and Channel 4 International in the U.K. signed a copro deal in which the two parties agreed to a program exchange, mutual investments and a partnership in program development. Doc series included in the deal are The SS , Metropolis – The Power of Cities, Ice World, The Private Life of Pompeii and Napoleon’s Waterloo. ZDF has collaborated with C4 on documentaries in the past, such as The Iceman from Oetz Valley.

The BBC agreed to give Italy’s Mediatrade full rights to develop DVD, video, publishing, interactive and other merchandise for the BBC factual programs it distributes.

National Geographic’s International Home Video and DVD division signed a three-year distribution deal with Johannesburg-based Next Entertainment. Some of the Nat Geo titles Next will offer as DVDs to the South African market include Destination Space and Egypt.

London-based Action Time picked up international rights (outside of North America) for an MTV format called Flipped and sold U.S. rights to its dating format It’s a Love Thing to California-based The Gurin Company.

Australia’s Beyond Productions and Pearson Broadband agreed to partner on a children’s factual series (26 x 30 minutes or 52 x 15 minutes) called Backyard Science.

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