By Leah Hochbaum Rosner

With just three weeks to go until MIP-TV, TV execs are preparing themselves for a market that might be more business-focused than in years past, but that doesn’t mean that they’re ready to sacrifice a good coupe de champagne. Liz Cook of London-based Eaton Films will be on the convention floor at the market — which will take place March 30-April 3 in sunny Cannes, France — ready for anything and everything. She spoke with VideoAge about why MIP-TV continues to be so important, why it’s always hard for her to find time to attend any of the many seminars offered by MIP-TV and how the sad state of the world economy might actually give Eaton a leg up on the competition.

VideoAge International: What product are you bringing to this year’s MIP-TV?

Liz Cook: We are focusing on season three of The Saddle Club series. Although we introduced it at MIPCOM, we only had a promo at the time and we have now just taken delivery of all 26 episodes. It has a brand new cast and lots more songs. Incidentally, the song “Hello World,” which features in all three seasons, is currently number eight in the French music singles 100. The Saddle Club girls are higher on the charts than [musicians like] Beyonce, Rihanna, Franz Ferdinand and Pink!

VAI: Why does MIP-TV continue to be such an important market for Eaton? What territories are you focusing on?

LC: MIP is still the best opportunity for us to meet people from around the world under one roof. We are not focusing on any specific territories, but we hope to see lots of sales.

VAI: Will you be attending any of the panels or sessions or do you not usually have time for them? What topics would you like to see offered?

LC: We don’t have much time, but if there is anything of interest, one of us tries to make it. We would, however, like to see more seminars discussing the myriad of ever-increasing new rights.

VAI: What are the main issues facing MIP-TV today?

LC: From speaking to people in the industry it seems that some companies have decided to attend only one of the Cannes markets this year instead of both. But we haven’t seen any figures on this yet, so we will have to wait and see.

VAI: How will the state of the economy affect the market? How will it affect your company specifically?

LC: The downturn in ad revenue is obviously creating some belt tightening. Although, at the same time, less production money available could lead to the necessity to buy more finished product. We have a large back catalogue that might generate increasing interest in these difficult times.