Q&A: Karoline Spodsberg, Banijay International

How did this year's edition of MIPTV seem to you? Quieter, or busier than last year's?
May 1, 2010

How did this year’s edition of MIPTV seem to you? Quieter, or busier than last year’s?

I did feel that the market was quieter than in previous years. The financial crisis is still affecting the industry in many ways and most notably twofold: For two years now there have been fewer commissions of new formats and as a result there are fewer proven formats at the market. This tendency of less availability of proven formats is supported by the increased consolidation of companies which means that many proven formats are tied in with the super indies, so there aren’t as many hot formats available. Maybe that’s why we saw many paper formats at the market being traded like never before.

Another effect of the financial crisis is that we are seeing a rapid change in the financial structure of production – there is more focus on advertiser-funded programming and cross-platform content than ever before as broadcasters look to broaden their revenue streams.

Specifically for Banijay International, given that you were effectively launching the company at the market, what were some of the goals you had for the week and did you meet them?

Our goals were to launch Banijay International as an instant force in global distribution. We succeeded. Combining the market position and credibility of Nordisk Film TV World with the global presence and power behind Banijay Entertainment was a compelling cocktail. The catalog was well received and the feedback on the line-up was that it was strong and relevant.

With so many paper formats and pilots circulating at the market, the advantage for Banijay International was that we succeeded in bringing several original and proven, ratings-winning formats to buyers. They are always looking for the security of a nice track record, and that put us in a good position.

Any particular deals you can mention?

Yes, we have licensed nine episodes of the new format, My Parents Are Gonna Love You, to Romanian broadcaster Antena. This format has also secured options in Portugal (Eyeworks) and Italy (Sony). ShineReveille in Australia and CBV in Portugal have secured the rights to our recent acquisition, The People’s Quiz, which had a soft MIPTV launch.

Were you at all impacted by the volcanic ash situation and the closing of European airspace?

We had to drive to Copenhagen instead of flying, but we had a fun road trip!

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.