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MipCom 2007: Surveys released, deals signed, announcements made – ‘Indian content is on the move’

09-October-2007
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MipCom 2007: Surveys released, deals signed, announcements made – ‘Indian content is on the move’

MipCom 2007 has seen a healthy share of Indian delegates so far. From broadcast players like STAR India, ZEEL, SET and Sahara One, to newcomers like NDTV Imagine and Viacom-18 and even Reliance DTH and IPTV teams – quite a few players are already here. In addition to these, production houses like MidiTech, Optimystix, and Balaji are here too. The idea does not seem to be only buying content, but also to know what is happening in other parts of the industry.

FICCI and Ernst & Young unveiled their survey ‘Indian Content on the Move’ on October 8. The report, which threw light on the opportunities and challenges of Indian content in the overseas market, was created especially for MipCom 2007. The study delves into the successes of Indian content market abroad.

The report is an effort to map the market for Indian entertainment content (mainly film and television) outside the country and provide a rough guide to help organise the logistical, marketing, legal and business related processes in the overseas markets. It’s also an attempt to study consumer preferences, plot trends and understand the creative issues that rise due to the cultural differences in these markets.

The report brings under the scanner several aspects of content demand and supply. According to the report, the unique nature of Indian content, though appealing, had some issues when it came to selling overseas. The report points out that most Indian companies have not yet built an appetite for large marketing expenditure overseas as they are just about building scale in India.

Some of the trends that the report throws in the change in the consumer preferences show that urban audiences now demand more than just the staple film content that has existed till now. This demand, matched with the multiplex revolution, has propelled independent filmmakers to make small budget or unusual films like ‘Bheja Fry’, ‘Iqbal’, ‘Maqbool’ and ‘Omkara’, to name a few. It also says that digitisation of content has ensured experiments with distribution platforms. Some of these could also lead to control piracy, as well as reach niche audiences without spending too much.

Some of the other announcements made included Sony Pictures Television International (STPI) opening a new TV licensing office in Mumbai. Leena Lele Dutta has been appointed as Director of Licensing to head this office. She reports to Ross Pollack, SPTI’s Senior VP, Distribution, Asia.

New Corp’s Fox International Channels (FIC) announced the acquisition of a major stake in BabyTV. BabyTV, which was launched in 2003, is the first television channel for infant and toddlers under three. Following this, BabyTV will become a core channel in the FIC offering joining the likes of Fox, Fox Life, Fox Crime, FX, National Geographic and others.

The nominations of the 35th International Emmy Awards were also announced on day one of the event by the International Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. This year, there are 38 nominees in nine categories.

The key sessions on the second day of the event on October 9 would focus on branded entertainment and the way forward for digital and content.

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