At the fifth edition of DISCOP Istanbul, which ended on February 25, there were 1,225 delegates representing 512 companies and 75 countries, according to organizers Globus Fairs and Basic Lead.
This year Turkish companies TRT, ITV Inter Medya, Global Agency, Kanal D, Calinos and ATV welcomed participants with monumental stands at the International Convention and Exhibition Center, adjoining the Hilton Bosphorous Hotel in Istanbul. A similar effort will be required this coming October at MIPCOM in Cannes, where Turkey is this year’s Country of Honor. To this purpose, Turkish companies are joining forces to plan something “remarkable and unique” in the words of Global Agency’s Fahriye Sentürk.
As a preview of things to come, on February 22, the day before the three-day DISCOP Istanbul market opened, ITV organized a tour of the ES Film-owned studio where its period drama Filinta is currently shot.
Basic Lead’s Patrick Zuchowicki reported a growth in DISCOP participants from the Middle East, Romania and Korea, emphasizing that especially the latter two are now producing many new series. He also mentioned that next year the market — to be held March 1-3, 2016 — will have a focus on Mexico in an effort to boost its Latin American component.
Telemundo’s Karina Etchison was one of the many Latin American TV executives to attend DISCOP Istanbul 2015. She explained that in the Middle East, Telemundo’s ready-made productions and formats are available for all platforms. “Local adaptations of Telemundo Internacional productions do particularly well in the region,” she said. “The most recent success is Al Ikhwa, a masterfully produced adaptation of Hijos de Monte (Siblings).” While she added that her company hopes to reach as many countries as possible in the Middle East, in particular, “I hope to continue doing business in the United Arab Emirates,” she said. “The high-end quality of production and broadcasting is remarkable.
In terms of acquisitions and programming executives in attendance, unsurprisingly, the lion’s share came from Turkey. Other large contingents of delegates came from the UAE, Lebanon, Iraq and Jordan. Several representatives acquiring content for the Balkans region and the former Russian territories were also spotted at the market.
On the conference side, the first day saw well attended conferences on product placement and alternative news service VICE, whereas the second day was dubbed “Licensing Day” with sessions organized in partnership with Lima (Licensing Industry Merchandisers’ Association).
The event wasn’t without controversy. During the final day, dubbed “Format Day,” at an event sponsored by Saudi company Rotana, the jury — made up of Saudi and Turkish TV executives — refused to hear the pitch from Ilanit Hirsch of Gil Productions, an Israeli company. However, one of the jury member from Turkey’s Global Agency did not participate in the boycott.