The Week at MIPTV


Like the industry it caters to, MIPTV is in a state of transition. Last year, with the addition of In Development—a joint initiative with the inaugural Canneseries—the market added production and development to an event that has long been synonymous with the distribution business. More evolution is in the works.

At the start of the week, Reed MIDEM said it expected about 9,500 delegates from 100 countries, including 3,300 buyers and commissioners. The reported attendance last year was about 10,000 delegates. Some distributors complained of a lack of foot traffic in what was a quieter market than years past, while others did speak of busy schedules and the opportunity to spend more time with their key clients. A few companies gave up their exhibition spaces, among them Fox Networks Group Content Distribution and Twentieth Century Fox—now part of the Disney fold—and BBC Studios (which instead had a presence at In Development). The general consensus from many attendees who spoke to World Screen’s reporters during the week is that MIPTV needs to evolve given changes in the industry and the slew of other events taking place throughout the year.

“We’ve consulted with our clients over the past months regarding the changes in the industry and to better understand their needs today,” Laurine Garaude, director of the television division at Reed MIDEM, told World Screen as the market wrapped. “Out of these discussions, we’ve had really interesting feedback, and there are two big takeaways. One is the need for increased access to talent and producers, so In Development is really essential to where the market is going. Two is the need for more flexible solutions for both exhibitors and visitors.”

Concepts being explored include new exhibition opportunities, curated matchmaking and more screenings and pitches.

“We have a vision of how we see MIPTV going forward,” Garaude said. “We’re not taking any decisions until we discuss with our clients. We’ll make announcements in due time.”

France was the Country of Honour this year, with a slew of heavy hitters from that market’s content industry delivering keynotes throughout the week. Among them were Banijay Group’s Chairman Stéphane Courbit, CEO Marco Bassetti and Banijay France CEO François de Brugada, who took part in a keynote with World Screen’s Anna Carugati. The importance of scale was a key part of that conversation. “Scale is always good,” Bassetti said. “If scale means you create more bureaucracy, as we’ve seen before, more control and less autonomy, that’s not good. We don’t have that. The more you have scale, the more leverage you have, the more opportunity you have to generate value, to deficit your own shows, and you can keep IP. Scale also attracts talent. You need to be lean and mean. To be a medium-sized company will become difficult in the coming years.”

Courbit agreed with Bassetti, stressing that at the core of the company are people and IP. “If you can be bigger, you have to do it.”

Consolidation did indeed weigh heavily on the minds of many MIPTV execs, especially as the market opened with news that Sky Vision would be folded into the distribution operation of fellow Comcast-owned entity NBCUniversal. Disney is working on the integration of the Fox assets. The fate of Endemol Shine Group is still up for debate. (Asked about speculation that Banijay is looking to acquire Endemol Shine Group, Bassetti said, “No comment.”)

Accessing talent at an early stage is also a key concern for rights-management companies as the FAANGs continue to shell out big sums to top creators and producers. In Development was created to serve that need, delivering keynotes, master classes and networking sessions throughout the week. The In Development strand included a keynote address by showrunner and executive producer Ilene Chaiken, in conversation with World Screen’s Anna Carugati.

In this on-demand, streaming world, Chaiken said it has become “much harder to sustain the excitement. It’s the world of short attention spans; people move on. We’ve got to keep striving to be relevant, to say something that people need to hear and see. It challenges us to set the bar higher for ourselves.”

On her advice to aspiring writers, in addition to honing their craft and learning from others, Chaiken said, “Write with a passionate agenda. Write about things you care about and let the things you care about seep into your writing. I don’t want to be neutral and just entertain. That’s nonsense.”

Catch up on these stories and more on, where you can also read our recaps of formats, drama and factual news from MIPTV.