MIPCOM: 12,900 Make Trip to Cannes

The number of U.S. companies attending world's largest programming market was up 11%
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The MIPCOM programming market wrapped up Oct. 11 with organizers reporting around 12,900 attendees from 104 countries and 4,400 buyers. Despite economic woes in a number of European countries, Reed MIDEM's Television Division, which organizes MIPCOM, described attendance as "one of the biggest MIPCOMs ever."

With strong demand for American programming around the world, the number of U.S. companies attending the market increased by 11%, with a number of notable newcomers that included the debut appearance from DreamWorks, represented by DreamWorks Animation and Classics.

Other countries or regions showing a significant increase in attendance included Latin America, where the number of companies increased by 36%, China (up 30% to 116 companies), South Korea (up 12% to 119 companies) and Canada (up 11% to 252 companies.)

Activity at the market was particularly buoyed by strong demand for U.S. programming and the emergence of subscription VOD and streaming media platforms as major buyers of programming. Of the 4,400 buyers attending the confab, over 500 were making dedicated VOD acquisitions.

One the digital side, a number of the major online video players were also getting more active in content creation. "Companies such as Netflix, Google/YouTube or Hulu have been attending MIPCOM for several years, but mostly as buyers," commented Laurine Garaude, Director of Reed MIDEM's Television Division, in a statement. "Today, they are very much involved in developing great content."

During the market, Robert Kyncl, Google/YouTube's VP and global head of content, announced the planned launch of 60 new channels in the UK, Germany and France, with original content coming from such TV players as FremantleMedia, BBC Worldwide, Endemol and All3Media.

Hulu was also active at the market, where Jason Kilar, CEO of online TV service Hulu pointed out that the streaming video service was spending $500 million on content and that it was working closely with a number of international broadcasters.

As usual the market also saw a number of companies brining top talent to program their programs.

Film producer and distributor Harvey Weinstein attended his first MIPCOM, where he unveiled The Weinstein Company's plans to expand in television production and distribution. "TV is such an exciting area at the moment and movies are shrinking to some extent," Weinstein told attendees. "So it's the right time for us to get into TV in a big way."

Kevin Spacey also made an appearance to promote Netflix's original production "House of Cards."

"When you look where the most interesting plot lines, storylines and characters are, it's in television." Kevin Spacey told buyers in Cannes, Reed MIDEM reported.

Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys were brought to MIPCOM by Twentieth Century Fox Television to promote the World Premiere TV Screening of FX's "The Americans," which is distributed by the studio.

Other talent making the trek to Cannes included British cooking host, Nigella Lawson; "The Walking Dead" producer Gale Anne Hurd and star Sarah Wayne Callies, "NCIS" cop Michael Weatherly and the show's executive producer Gary Glasberg; and "Saving Hope" doctor Erica Durance.

One notable networking event was Global Entertainment Power Lunch, which brought together over 100 of the most influential women working in the international television sector. The event was done in partnership with A+E Networks.

MIPCOM also saw the first LATAM Global Dealmakers Networking Lunch, which brought together 80 of the most influential executives from Latin American, and an speech by Grupo Televisa's president and CEO, Emilio Azcarraga Jean, who received the MIPCOM Personality of the Year award.

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