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MipCom 2007: It’s all about the programming, stupid

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MipCom 2007: It’s all about the programming, stupid

Identifying the global trends in programming might not be as easy as some of the experts from the medium make it sound, but MipCom sure makes them give some replies on this. Leslie Moonves, President and CEO, CBS Corporation, who has also been honoured as the MipCom Personality of the Year, addressed the press to share his views on what made a network successful. By his own admission, Moonves has been very closely involved in the content function of the CBS Network – he had personally cast Jennifer Aniston in ‘Friends’ and George Clooney in ‘ER’. Another show that he was responsible for was the ‘CSI’ franchise.

According to Moonves, a network head could prove successful only if he respected the creative process and the ideas. He said, “It has always been about the programming in this business. People remember programmes, not networks. If the programmes are great, they can even give high repeat revenues.”

He also divulged that CBS had been experimenting with Web partnerships to explore that space more, and in creating content for that space. Another point he divulged was that even as he agreed with others when they said that India was a very fertile market, there had been many deals discussed on India that CBS had decided against getting into.

His point on the game being all about programming was endorsed in a panel that had speakers from Havas Media, Carat Entertainment and

Dominique Delport, CEO, Havas Media, said that in a sense, creativity was to enhance what was already happening in a manner that would be engaging. When done right, the creative process would automatically add more people, but the focus on the great and sustainable idea should not be lost. He added, “The challenge is even greater in today’s times since you also have the advertisers that have little choice but to partner you in content than be seen in between the content.”

Justin Wilkes, VP of Media and Entertainment,, took the conversation forward and explained that the nexus between brands, studios, networks and agencies had to strengthen to take great programming ideas forward and be able to seamlessly mesh them with the commercial message or brands.

Wilkes said, “The future of branded entertainment really is very fragile. You have to know the brand values, work in between sales and programming, and never lose sight of the viewer.”

The final speaker on the day was Michael A Yudin, MD, Carat Entertainment, who admitted that for the agency the advertiser’s objectives were the primary objectives. “However, unless you have made the programming engaging, you would miss out on those as well. So, you have to ensure that you also have the right creative partners,” he added.

He took the audience through the work that had been done for clients like Schick, Tease, and Stolichanger, wherein the shows were created for the brands, and not the other way round, where brands are placed in pre-conceived shows. “They were successful because they were great shows,” he pointed out.


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