MipTV Sets Revamp in Motion Amid Falling Attendance, Dissatisfaction

The talk at MipTV in Cannes isn’t about the latest hot show this year. It’s about whether the global TV confab has lost its mojo, and whether a plan to revamp the market will inject new life into the event.

Organizer Reed Midem took the unusual step of trotting out attendee numbers as the market got underway Monday as part of a charm offensive with buyers and sellers.

They were light on detail, but options include moving distributors into the Palais des Festivals and into cheaper modular units that would come with a lower price tag. It would also provide some buzz and bustle inside the Palais, where companies have vacated booths and left ample empty space. There is also, once again, talk of relocating the whole event, with Barcelona often mentioned as a likely destination, but that is unlikely in the short term, as Reed Midem has a deep relationship with Cannes, where the company runs several other events.

The market got off to a respectable start in the French sunshine Monday, but was quiet Tuesday. The number of attendees is down: Reed Midem said there were 9,500 people registered, compared to 10,000 last time. There are delegates from 100 countries and 3,300 buyers.

Reed Midem has been reaching out to the sales firms that have long griped about a perceived lack of flexibility, and issues such as having to take space at MipTV in order to secure it for the larger and busier Mipcom event in October, and having to use an official system to book hotel rooms for their talent and senior staff.

MipTV has changed with the times as highlighted by an expanded push on the TV development side of MipTV this time, which has extended to kids’ and factual content alongside drama.

Veteran Mip attendees remember, back in the day, the plumes of cigarette smoke billowing from the “bunker,” the downstairs section of the Palais that houses the greatest number of booths. In 2019, it’s a more sedate affair, and there are noticeable gaps between stands on the floor. Offering modular units would mean big savings on bespoke and pricey stand builds, per Over&Above who build custom, stands at the Palais.

Amid the speculation over what form the next-generation MipTV will take, it remains the second-biggest event on the international TV calendar, after big sister Mipcom. It is instrumental to deals that see programming get funded, produced and distributed the world over. The global content business is changing fast, however, and many of its main players are waiting to see how MipTV will evolve to adapt to the new landscape.

To quote, Beta Films Gabriel Ondris, during their 60 year anniversary party at MIPTV2019. “Beta Films will be around another 60 years, hopefully MIPTV will be too.”