MIPTV Sees Healthy Attendance, Dealmaking

Digital platforms and Chinese buyers were increasingly active in Cannes this week
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With over 11,000 attendees and over 4,000 buyers, the MIPTV market wrapped up today with program producers and distributors announcing a number of new program sales, co-productions, formats and launches of new channels during the April 1-4 event in Cannes.

While MIPTV is traditionally less important for the major U.S. Hollywood studios than MIPCOM because it is so close to next month's Los Angeles Screenings, many U.S. companies, including all the major studios, were out in force.

During the show, Miramax announced a deal with the Samuel Goldwyn Jr. Family Trust that allows Miramax to manage global licensing of the library produced by Samuel Goldwyn for a wide variety of TV and digital platforms.

Also during the show, A+E Network announced that its 3D specials Titanic: 100 Years in 3D, History of the World in Two Hours and Invisible had been sold to BSkyB in the U.K.

A number of prominent American TV executives also spoke at the market, including Josh Sapan, president and CEO of AMC Networks and Roma Khanna, president, television group and digital at MGM.

Digital platforms continued to play an increasingly important role with Netflix acquiring U.S. and Canadian rights to the World Productions feature drama United.

BBC Worldwide also sold 300 hours of BBC content to LOVEFiLM Germany, an on-demand service owned by Amazon.

In terms of channel launches, Shorts International, which is owned by Shorts Entertainment Holdings and Liberty Global Ventures, announced that its ShortsTV is bowing on UPC in the Netherlands, adding to the channel's distribution in France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Turkey and the U.S, where it is available on DirecTV and AT&T's U-verse.

During the market, Chinese players played a growing role as ITV Studios Global Entertainment's and Lookout Point's dramatic mini-series, Titanic was sold to China's Shanghai Joy Network, one of the country's largest online content providers.

The deal pushed the number of countries planning to air the show to 95.

ITV Global Studios Entertainment also inked an multiyear agreement with JOY.CN, one of China's largest content websites for a range of British drama. The output deal will make such programs as the Titanic and the U.S. network drama Prime Suspect made available on demand.

With over 200 delegates from China, including a number of senior regulators and TV officials, attending MIPTV, several co-production deals were also announced.

These included an agreement with BBC Worldwide and CCTV-9 to coproduce a new science series. The agreement marks the first time that BBC's science unit will work with the Chinese state broadcaster.

Production finance also played an growing role as the number of producers attending rose by 25% to over 1,220.

In terms of formats, the Canadian company Antica Productions won the MIPFormats Pitch with its "Looking For Love" (L4L) format and was awarded €25,000 ($32,800) develop the project. The money was provided by the exclusive sponsors of the event, Warner Bros. International Television Distribution.

Stars were also out in force. Elle Macpherson, attended MIPTV as the executive producer and host of Electus' new TV show Fashion Star which debuted in March on NBC and has been sold by Electus International to 75 territories.

Format rights to the show have also been optioned in a number of countries, the distributor reported.

During the show, FremantleMedia Enterprises announced a deal with U.S. filmmaker, Morgan Spurlock to launch Morgan Spurlock's New Britannia internationally. FME also inked a deal with Spurlock and his production company Warrior Poets for other factual productions including Failure Club and A Day in the Life. Both of those shows had originated as web series.

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