The New Europe Market (NEM) opened Tuesday, June 10 and will be running until Friday, June 13 in the Croatian city of Dubrovnik, with about 450 TV executives from an estimated 30 countries.
This is the second edition of the market-cum-conference. New this year is the fact that it is headquartered in a wing of the Radisson Blu Hotel, a stunning resort with beautiful views of the Adriatic Sea. However, it’s somewhat inconvenient, at approximately a 20-minute drive from the historical city center, where shops, restaurants and most other hotels are located. Market organizers have provided shuttle bus services to take participants around.
The market floor — open every day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. — houses meeting tables for 15 exhibitors, including RTL Croatia, FremantleMedia and NEM organizer Mediavision, a Croatian company. CBS Studios International and Disney are exhibiting in separate suites next to the registration area while Eutelsat has the only stand.
The first day of the market opened with a bit of an electrical problem that left part of the conference and exhibition area in the dark for a few hours, delaying some of the panels, which were rescheduled for later in the week.
Panels are being held every day with topics ranging from the “Future of TV Channels,” to “The Success of European Drama in the U.S.,” to “The Next Step For TV Formats.”
Unfortunately, some of the big-name panelists canceled. However the keynote was delivered, as planned, by AMC’s Bruce Tuchman on Wednesday morning.
Events included an HBO benefit event for its Game of Thrones, a series that is filmed in Dubrovnik. Plus, Scandinavian broadcaster Viasat sponsored the opening cocktail, and the organizers will hold a party for the World Cup opening match of Brazil vs. Croatia live on Thursday night.
With a first view of the market, the impression is that its potential is limited to Croatia and surrounding countries and that the bulk of entertainment companies wanting to reach the CEE market and the Balkans in particular, will opt for NATPE Europe a week later in Prague.
Indeed the buyers that VideoAge contacted at NEM said that they will be attending NATPE Europe too. Some of those buyers did not go to the L.A. Screenings and are attracted by the U.S. studio screenings of the new TV series to be shown at NATPE Europe.
RTL Croatia’s Dragana Kos is a supporter of the event since it’s held in her home country, but she was hoping for a larger number of distributors. She will be heading to Prague (as a buyer — she handles program acquisitions and sales) after NEM.
Another issue that will work against the market’s potential growth is the isolated location of the market venue, with the Radisson Blu Resort too far from the city of Dubrovnik. Normally, marketgoers prefer to have markets start on weekends, but this is impractical in a city like Dubrovnik, because with 50,000 tourists from five to six huge cruise liners anchoring in Dubrovnik during weekends, the city becomes dysfunctional even for the locals.
Plus, the fact that June is a crowded month for TV-related market (there are 20 trade shows in 10 countries) will not help NEM, despite the fact that Dubrovnik would be a perfect to attract buyers from emerging countries, more so than Prague even though cost-wise the two cities are similar.
To NEM organizers, VideoAge raised the question of merging with NATPE Europe, however the answer was that “It’s premature to talk about partnership since this is only the second edition and [the market] saw a lot of growth from last year.”