With DISCOP East’s June 22 kick off growing closer, VideoAge talked to three VP’s who are preparing to head to Budapest. Cesar Diaz, VP of Sales at Venezuela and Miami-based Venevision International; Prentiss Fraser, VP of Worldwide Sales & Acquisitions at Los Angeles-based E1 Television International; and Marine Ksadzhikyan, VP of International Sales for Los Angeles-based Rive Gauche Television provided some insight into their plans for the market and which programming trends they see on the horizon for Eastern Europe.
VideoAge International: What are your plans for DISCOP?
Cesar Diaz: For DISCOP East, Venevision International, and its sales representatives, will continue to offer cost effective programming of superior quality and high production value. During this conference, we will build on old business relationships, while exploring new opportunities and ventures.
Prentiss Fraser: We’re excited to meet new and existing clients at the market and offer high-quality premium content starring talent previously seen in shows such as Californication, True Blood, X-Men, Heroes and 24.
Marine Ksadzhikyan: Our programming continues to do well and open up in Central and Eastern Europe. DISCOP gives us an opportunity to meet with key broadcasters we don’t get to see at MIP and MIPCOM.
VAI: What product will you be bringing to the market?
CD: Headlining our vast and varied proposal for DISCOP East are three new productions: a trio of novelas: Sacrificio de mujer (A Woman’s Sacrifice), Pecadora (Sinner), and Salvador de mujeres (Salvador: A Knockout Lover). The latter two have already proven themselves in territories throughout Latin America, while the first is still in production.
PF: E1 will be introducing new drama and comedy series such as Call Me Fitz, starring Jason Priestley (Beverly Hills 90210). This hilarious half-hour comedy premieres in Canada Fall 2010 and has already been renewed for a second season by TMN, ahead of the premiere containing 13 episodes in each season. E1 will also be bringing new one-hour dramas, such as Rookie Blue, a primetime US Network drama series centered on a group of young hot cops fresh out of the academy premieres in the US on ABC during DISCOP (June 24).
MK: We’re bringing a catalogue of versatile and adaptable programming. We’re bringing The Dog Whisperer, which has a proven track record and airs in over 150 territories. We recently did a sale to Russia and hopefully that will be the first of many in the territory. The franchise is still going strong. Additionally, Tracey Morgan has agreed to be involved with Scare Tactics Season 4.
VAI: What territories will you be focusing on in particular?
CD: All territories within Central and Eastern Europe are viable markets. However we will focus much of our attention on such countries as Bulgaria, Albania, Macedonia, Serbia, Bosnia, Hungary, and Poland.
PF: E1’s catalogue is suitable for broadcasters throughout the regions attending DISCOP. With the continued emergence of new channels in Central Eastern Europe and DTT platforms requiring content, we’re excited to be meeting new clients as well as continuing our business with current clients. At this market we’ll really be targeting free TV buyers throughout Eastern Europe.
MK: For us, all territories are equal all around the board. All of them are as important as the next one. From the Baltics to Russia and beyond.
VAI: Is there still a strong demand for telenovelas in Eastern Europe? Any other predictions for trends at the market?
CD: It’s safe to say that there is still a steady demand for telenovelas in Eastern Europe. In the past years, however, we have also seen a strong demand for non-scripted formats as they continue to grow in popularity.
PF: The TV market in Central Eastern Europe is still developing and broadcasters have to offer a variety of content and channels to its viewers in order to maintain ratings against their competitors. With the increase of HD Channels, for example, and requirements for HD from broadcasters, E1’s pleased to offer the majority of the newest content all available in HD. Other trends and hot topics will likely include 3D programming and the shift from format purchase back to acquired content.
MK: Clip shows are number one. They provide great filler. Our catalogue is filled with them and they are really adaptable, especially for these regions. And the best part of them is they can actually be localized for a specific territory.