MipCom 2007 has ended on a good note in terms of the growth figures that the festival has seen this year. Paul Johnson, Director, Television Division, Reed MIDEM, divulged that not only did more countries participate in the event this year, but India recorded the highest growth in terms of participation from among exhibiting companies this year.
Most industry analysts who attended the event were of the opinion that the growth came from the multiple distribution platforms that are emerging, the sheer growth in the number of players in this domain, and finally the economic growth that countries like India were witnessing that was fuelling this growth.
The fact that India needed more content is seen in the increase in the number of channels, including players like general entertainment channels. While broadcasters are fending for content for that reason, production houses in India are also gearing up to offer more to the broadcasters that do not make it content markets such as the MipCom, and also to attain the next level of growth in their product life cycles.
This was seen clearly in the statement of the likes of Balaji’s Ekta Kapoor, when she said that she was looking for co-productions, and it is learnt that Miditech and BAG are also looking for partners in that league.
Johnson further said that the need for content was so high that Reed MIDEM was launching another content market next year, called Amazia, which would be dedicated only to Asian content. The event would be held in Hong Kong in November 2008.
Speaking on the experience this year, FICCI’s Manish Ahuja said, "India is on the global map, and our task at hand this year was to be able to present India to the world, the kind of content that we can create, and also what we are looking for". The FICCI members also spoke on the opportunities available for content partnerships in India in an address that FICCI Co-Chair, Kunal Dasgupta, had delivered at the event.
Was the content very different this year? Rajesh Kamath of Endemol; Harsh Rohatgi of NDTV Imagine and Viacom-18’s Ashwini Yardi felt the content was not very different from what had been seen previously. However, Kailashnath Kopikar, VP, Business Development, Miditech, said, "Content will see cycles of adapting to the changes in viewers’ demands and the market as well in a sense, and these don’t happen instantly. They go through their cycles and you see the subtle changes coming in content."
Not many channels were ready to talk about the deals that they had struck during the festival, however, it should be noted here that of the 10 telenovelas that STAR India bought a few years back, only five had been made till date. The channel heads also explained that markets such as MipCom could be a starting point for any agreements, but deals were signed a few weeks or even months later.
In all, Reed MIDEM officials do believe that Indian participation is set to increase for content buying, selling and syndication. Given the manner in which the channels are increasing, they might not be so wrong in these expectations.