RX France’s Lucy Smith Previews MIPTV


Lucy Smith, entertainment division director at RX France, shares with World Screen Newsflash some of the highlights of the last MIPTV in Cannes as the organization gears up to host MIP LONDON beginning in 2025.

Yesterday, RX France revealed the fate of MIPTV following weeks of speculation about the long-running spring event. MIPTV will end its run in Cannes after this April’s edition, with MIP LONDON set to run concurrently with the London TV Screenings from February 24 to 27. The inaugural MIP LONDON is being positioned as a “complementary” event to the London TV Screenings. It kicks off with a pre-opening on Sunday, February 23, and will take place at the Savoy Hotel and IET London: Savoy Place. “The creation of MIP LONDON is a direct result of clear and evidenced market factors,” said Smith. “There is a continued appetite for a global content market in the first half of the year. MIP LONDON will not only alleviate a busy events calendar but will provide an additional entry point for international companies to gather in London at the same time.”

The 61st and final edition of MIPTV in Cannes runs from April 8 to 10, with 130-plus exhibitors slated to participate from 85-plus markets. “MIPTV was established in Cannes over six decades ago and is intrinsically linked to the city,” Smith said. “It was never a case of simply relocating it, but we have to acknowledge the transformation in the market. MIPTV will bow out in April, and we intend to stage a memorable final edition. Following this, all our energies on the Croisette will be focused on MIPCOM CANNES and our mission to deliver the mother of all entertainment markets in partnership with the city.”

Speaking to World Screen Newsflash about this year’s edition, Smith said there’s “a continued appetite for third-party content licensing,” with major studios, distributors, FAST and tech companies participating, along with local production companies within pavilions from 11 countries: Austria, Belgium, Canada, China, France, Italy, Romania, South Korea, Spain, Turkey and Ukraine.

MIPFormats and MIPDoc the weekend before set the stage for the “biggest weekend in unscripted,” Smith says. “To meet that mark, we have a comprehensive lineup of exclusive showcases and screenings, exclusive market intelligence sessions, keynotes and, for the first time, a full-speed matchmaking program. To highlight just a couple of sessions as examples, we’re excited to have the unveiling of K7’s annual definitive analysis of traveling formats, ‘Tracking the Giants,’ as the curtain raiser to MIPFormats, which will no doubt feature Destination X. One year on from literally parking their bus at the market to launch the show, the key players behind it are giving a case study on lessons from its success and rapid rollout since.”

The weekend also features a keynote from multi-award-winning documentarian Dawn Porter, in conversation with World Screen’s own Anna Carugati, “drawing on her purpose-led, impactful body of work,” Smith says. “Later that day, we have another amazing high-end international selection of early-stage scripted previews showcasing in MIPDrama—which is always a draw and a highlight!”

With an enduring “focus on the future,”, RX France is also bringing back the MIPLab this year to “host key players and practitioners from the worlds of FAST and AI in Monday’s MIP Global FAST & AVOD and Wednesday’s Tech and AI Innovation summits.”

The Global FAST & AVOD Summit is returning after a positive reception to the hub at MIPTV last year. “We remain focused on international with the format of concentrated talks followed by roundtable networking opportunities, which have proved hugely popular,” Smith explains. “But when programming the summit this time, we found that simply looking at FAST channels was already restrictive. Consumption patterns continue to change rapidly, and the demand for free content is evident—all major SVOD services will have advertising tiers and platforms by the end of this year—hence the broader theme of FAST and AVOD. We’ll again hear directly from the biggest global players in the area: the likes of Google, Samsung TV Plus, Vevo, Tubi and OTTera. Alan Work from TV REV, whose experience lies at exactly this intersection of content and advertising, is on board to moderate. It’s becoming a bit of a cliche, but FAST moves fast—the opportunities are apparent, the learning curve is steep and evolution is rapid.”

Smith also highlights MIP SDG Awards for two “change-making companies”: African children’s entertainment creator Ubongo and free access environmental footage platform Open Planet. The MIP SDG Awards, Smith says, is “a recognition program we established five years ago in association with the United Nations in support of their Decade of Action in a special section. Television’s power in accelerating progress has never been more needed, and there is so much to learn from—and be inspired by—[with regard to] companies’ purpose, practices and storytelling in this area globally. If you can take the time to join and see what is possible, please do.”

The evolution of MIPTV, and now subsequent move to London, reflects RX France’s mandate to “value clients’ time and their feedback,” Smith says. “To keep listening, be flexible on our format and ensure buyers are at the center of everything we do. And that’s not always about the ‘new.’ One of the most popular ‘re’-additions to the program has been the MIPDoc Screenings Library, which buyers wanted more time on and is one of the main reasons MIPDoc returned to the weekend this year. Although we’re conscious, as everybody is, that the TV events calendar is congested, I think the appetite for a global market in the first half of the year is clear, as seen by the number of exhibitors (over 130) and countries (over 85) coming to MIPTV.”