MIPTV: Big battles on screen and between buyers
by Birgit Heidsiek
- The event taught those present that the value of a product is also measured by its potential impact in the digital space
The barriers and borders between different cultures, countries, and even film, TV and online formats don’t matter anymore – this was the bottom line at MIPTV 2015. The four-day event in Cannes brought together 11,000 participants from over 100 countries, including around 4,000 buyers. Among the big business deals announced was FremantleMedia’s joint venture with Shanghai Media Group, BesTV and China Media Capital to create and develop formats for the Chinese markets. Another transnational agreement was filed by NBCUniversal International Television Production, TF1 and Germany’s RTL. The TV trio will co-finance, develop and produce three English-language crime and legal series.
The American-French connection was continued by Disney’s Maker Studios. The largest content network on YouTube closed a co-operative deal with France’s Canal+ Group in order to provide programming for its streaming services. “There is not one show that we produce today,” stated Marc-Antoine d’Halluin, of Zodiak Media, “where we do not think, together with the broadcaster that commissioned the show, about what the impact will be in the digital space.”
The “Millennial Shift” was a key theme at this year’s MIPTV. The millennials – people born between 1980 and 2000 – are becoming the driving force behind change and development in the entertainment industry through the way they are producing, watching and interacting with content across all platforms. “In a world where 50% of 18- to 32-year-olds browse the internet while watching television, creating brand addiction is a necessity,” said Tim Pastore, president, original programming and production for the National Geographic Channel. At MIPTV, advertisers and brands learned the lesson that entertainment is key to getting the brand message across.
Nevertheless, it is still great content that attracts audiences. Sales companies such as Global Screen reported that international buyers were particularly interested in their new TV movies and family entertainment programmes. A title that received strong interest from France, Spain, Italy, Scandinavia, Asia and Eastern European territories is the adaptation of Ken Follett's globally bestselling novel A Dangerous Fortune, which will be directed by Christian Schwochow (November Child [+see also:
film profile], Cracks in the Shell [+see also:
film profile]) and produced by Constantin Television for ZDF.
The Norwegian World War 2 series The Heavy Water War, in which the Nazis try to develop an atom bomb, is also selling well worldwide. At MIPTV, Svensk Filmindustri sold the most-watched Norwegian TV series to Arrow Films for a release on Channel 4. Meanwhile, FremantleMedia International sealed a deal with pay-TV giant CanalPlus on the Cold War series Deutschland 83 by Edward Berger and Samira Radsi, which premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival earlier this year.
Lastly, FremantleMedia CEO Cecile Frot-Coutaz was awarded the MIPTV 2015 Médaille d’Honneur. In her acceptance speech, she revealed that she grew up in a small village in the French Alps, where she often didn’t have access to a television.