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MipCom 2007: Content is the same, the way to deal it is changing

11-October-2007
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MipCom 2007: Content is the same, the way to deal it is changing

The MipCom 2007 market has been heated for the last three days. With different kinds of content being showcased in just about every corner of the Palais de Festival at Cannes, and on the nearby areas, including pavements and yachts, television lovers have a lot to see. The Indian delegates and participants are a busy lot here. However, unlike the animation companies, who do not mind divulging some information, the broadcasters and production houses would rather keep mum on everything now.

They did, however, say that MipCom offered a platform to initiate deals, but there was still time before anything was concretised. Also present in the market are cable operators, some of whom look satisfied with some of the meetings that they’ve had with international channels that are interested in being distributed in India.

On what is different in MipCom 2007, one of the broad points is the way to look at the market itself. Balaji Telefilm’s Ekta Kapoor is here and when asked about the festival, she said, “I am here for co-productions.” Co-productions seem to be what most Indian production houses are looking at. Optimystix had a deal for themselves at MipCom a couple of years back when they inked a pact with Spark, which gave them access to the various format that Spark had globally.

Co-production deals going through indicate a further involvement of international names in Indian content. How that works out is a wait and watch. An interesting aspect this year also is the scrutiny of rights while buying or selling a property. Endemol’s India MD Rajesh Kamath explained here, “Now it is not just broadcast right, there are interactive rights, sponsorships – quite a lot that can be done with the same property. So, the sellers are careful on what rights of a property they want to sell, and what do they want to hold on to.”

The participants also informed that content pricing had not seen much change over the last few years. However, at the same time, the kinds of content seen were also not changing, but the interesting trend around was that of content going 360-degrees. Rajeev Kheror, Head of Programming, Zee TV Middle East, said, “Everyone is trying to show how the content can be taken to all mediums – web, mobile. They are linking the format to different mediums, and I think that is very progressive.”

He also added that animation seemed to be really heating the space. One large benefit of animation is that new kinds of shows are targeting the youth TG as well. Ashish S K, CEO, AniRights Infomedia, a ADAG company, said, “Animation is seeing interest and also short form content. People really are looking at ways for taking content to mobile and the Internet.”

Short films are also seeing interest, and MipCom has seen various initiatives around this – Pangea Day being one of the key ones. Jehane Noujaim, the award-winning filmmaker behind Control Room, is working with Chris Anderson, the curator of TED (Technology, Entertainment and Design), for Pangea Day, a global event slated for May 10, 2008 that will showcase short films from around the world. On the day, venues in Cairo, Dharamsala, Jerusalem, Kigali, London, New York City, Ramallah and Rio de Janeiro will be linked in a four-hour global broadcast featuring films, speakers and music.

The event will be streamed online, on TV, in digital cinemas and on mobile phones. Thus far, 150 people have signed up to host screenings in 45 different countries, and the trailer for the event has been viewed nearly 450,000 times on YouTube.

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