RX France Unveils MIP London Structure


RX France’s Lucy Smith and Robert Marking outlined plans for the inaugural MIP London to a standing room-only audience in Cannes today.

The 61st and final edition of MIPTV comes to a close tomorrow.

“MIP London is an all-new, multi-genre, international MIP market and networking event, taking place in the heart of London’s West End,” said Smith, entertainment division director at RX France. “We know, from the fact that there have been more than 3,500 delegates here in Cannes this week, there is a need for the market at the beginning of the year. The event calendar has become very congested. The distribution business has moved forward to February and London. By launching MIP London, we believe we are responding to the new market needs. It will be very different in format and scale to this MIPTV.”

The event takes place February 24 to 27, with a pre-market opening on February 23, running adjacent to the BBC Showcase and the London TV Screenings.

Buyers, Smith noted, have been consolidating their Q1 calendars around the London events, with U.K.-based distributors hosting screenings events across the city. This year, 29 companies took part in the London TV Screenings, with some 750 buyers attending the events.

“Our plan is not to compete with but to be complementary to” the London TV Screenings, Smith stressed. “It’s complementary because there are more international companies already who are going to London or want to be going to London, and it’s clear that we can help to meet that demand. That’s what we’ve been told by clients who do not necessarily have a U.K. base or a U.K. events team, and many of whom are here at MIPTV. Some of them already organize screenings in London, some haven’t yet but would like to do so. For all, it works to have a one-stop solution that we can provide rather than having to organize everything themselves.”

The move also “alleviates the busy event schedule in the first half of the year. And it brings the potential of more buyers, therefore more business, to London in February. And that really is for the benefit of all.”

RX France will have an invitation program allowing buyers to attend MIP London for free. “There are nearly 1,200 buyers here at MIPTV this week. This does mean the likelihood is that there will be more buyers in London in that week of February.”

Smith stressed that MIP London is a content market, “but it’s not about a big exhibition hall as we [are] used to in the Palais. We’re providing distributors with meeting spaces. Buyers will be provided with a central hub where they can network, recharge, have meetings. We’ll have a MIP London database. And we’ll implement our online content screenings platform.”

Smith continued, “As we evolve our program, we’re very mindful of developing an offer for the MIPDoc and MIPFormats communities, as well as the kids’ community.”

Smith said the feedback thus far has been positive, with some clients already preparing for on-site visits.

MIP London will take place across The Savoy hotel and the IET London Savoy Place next door. Both are within proximity of some of the key screenings locations used by London TV Screenings organizers.

Marking, senior VP of sales and business development at RX, then talked delegates through the various options available to distributors at the location. These will include buyers’ lounges, scalable meeting lounges, branded meeting tables, country pavilions, private club rooms, luxury hotel suites, two screenings theaters, event spaces and catering. “We do want to provide maximum space for distributors. We know that you want to meet with buyers and you want to showcase content. Buyers need a place to come back to during the busy week, and we hope to create an open house for you.”

RX France, Smith said, “is an international team with relationships with hundreds of international TV companies. We do have a trusted track record in delivering markets; it’s what we do: delivering multi-genre global markets. I believe we can provide an entry point with full solutions, particularly for those who don’t have bases, hubs or events teams in London.”

Smith wrapped by reflecting on the history of MIPTV, which began in Cannes in 1965. Reiner Moritz, who was at the first and has been at every one since then, was in the room today for the MIP London unveiling. “We know it’s an emotional moment for many to know this is the last MIPTV. We know couples and marriages have come out of MIPTV in the past, and many other things! We also believe the time to make change is now. And it’s the right thing to be doing.”

MIPCOM returns October 21 to 24 as RX Global’s flagship market, marking its 40th anniversary, with the 11th edition of MIP Cancun to follow in November.