ITV Studios has joined BBC Studios, A+E Networks and a raft of other emerging players that have opted out of the physical MIPCOM market this October.
Reed Midem, organizer of the Cannes-set market, confirmed earlier this month that the event — scheduled for Oct. 12 to 15 — would comprise a digital and physical program.
In announcing the news, the organizer said it would work with event partners to “have in place rigorous guidelines and advanced safety measures throughout the Palais des Festivals and all of our event venues.”
Still, for a growing roster of companies that includes Beyond Rights and Fremantle, travel restrictions and the “uncertainty” of the COVID-19 pandemic present challenges.
An A+E Networks representative told Realscreen that “A+E will not be on the ground but was always planning a robust virtual presence in coordination and partnership with Reed Midem, including virtual engagements with and for clients; the Women in Global Entertainment Lunch; and the Diversify Summit and Awards.”
Similarly, a BBC Studios spokesperson confirmed: “In order to give certainty to customers and colleagues, we have now confirmed that while BBC Studios will not have a physical presence at MIPCOM 2020, we will be fully supporting the event through digital delivery. We will share further details of our slate and activity in the weeks ahead. We look forward to returning to MIPCOM in 2021.”
A spokesperson for Beyond Rights told Realscreen: “Given the huge amounts of uncertainty around COVID-19 and the fact that travel is limited from many regions, including Australia, Beyond Rights has taken the decision to not attend MIPCOM this year. Reed Midem has been advised that we will not have a booth. The Beyond Rights team has been successfully acquiring, marketing and selling content throughout the lockdown period and, while we will of course miss the established event that is MIPCOM, we see no reason for this not to continue.”
Elsewhere, a spokesperson for Fremantle said in a statement to Realscreen: “Although we will not have a physical presence at MIPCOM this year, we look forward to showcasing our incredible slate through an enhanced digital experience.”
ITV Studios, meanwhile, confirmed in a release that it would not be exhibiting at MIPCOM this year, and is instead rolling out the ITV Studios Fall Festival, a series of virtual content and production sessions for buyers.
The event, to be held over three weeks from Sept. 14, will include a space for buyers to connect with the ITV Studios sales teams (including global distribution, global entertainment and Armoza Formats) “face-to-face,” as well as a calendar of screenings and “interactive and pre-recorded sessions.”
“The ITV Studios Fall Festival will be an unmissable event for our buyers, from enhanced one-to-one meetings to fully produced content sessions,” said Ruth Berry, MD of global distribution and Maarten Meijs, president global entertainment at ITV Studios, in a joint statement. “It will be a fitting extension to our must-attend Spring Drama and Formats Festivals as well as the Non-Scripted Carbon Neutral Factual Screenings launched earlier this year. We promise to deliver it all in the inimitable style our clients are accustomed to, a valuable experience for them as they look to plan their schedules for 2021 and beyond.”
ITV Studios said it will reveal the full calendar of events in August, though it announced few sessions geared to buyers.
Among those, Windfall Films CEO Carlo Massarella and World Productions CEO and creative director Simon Heath will share details about upcoming projects in two separate virtual events. An interactive session dubbed “House of Gameshows” will see ITV Studios will “lift the lid” on some of its game shows.
In a statement to Realscreen, Reed Midem television division director Laurine Garaude said: “BBC Studios will be partnering with MIPCOM 2020 via the new digital MIPCOM ONLINE+ that will extend the reach of the market to audiences around the globe in 2020. We look forward to sharing more details of the partnership in due course. We understand and respect ITV Studios’ approach in the face of Covid-19 and we look forward to welcoming BBC Studios and ITV Studios back to Cannes in 2021.”
In June, the French government gave the greenlight to trade shows and exhibitions housing 5,000 or more delegates as of Sept. 1, subject to further assessment of conditions related to the COVID-19 pandemic closer to that date.
In its official communication to potential delegates, Reed MIDEM said traffic flow and capacity will be limited throughout the exhibition hall, with onsite registrations being reduced, and badges being sent to clients before the event.
Other measures in place for the MIPCOM market include cleaning and sterilization of conference halls after each session; mandatory masks for all participants, service providers and event staff; and availability of hand sanitizer throughout the exhibition zone.
This is a developing story with more to come. With files from Daniele Alcinii and Barry Walsh