This Water Cooler edition will preview two stories that will soon appear in their extended forms in the September digital-only Issue of VideoAge.

We’ll start in the north, with the 24th annual Le Rendez-Vous, which checks in to the seaside town of Biarritz for another five-day French TV trade show beginning on the evening of Sunday, September 9, 2018.

The event is organized by TV France International (TVFI), the association for French audiovisual exporters, and in the words of TVFI’s president Hervé Michel, “This Rendez-Vous is under the label of ‘efficiency.’ Efficiency for the buyers first, with a selection of new high-end French content. Added to this are the improved tools on our digital platform, Screenopsis [the online database of French programming set up by TVFI], which will make it work more efficiently.”

He continued, noting that efficiency also refers to “the sales companies, which are facing a tightened number of buyers enjoying the benefits of getting priority access to new French shows.” It’s also about “environmental efficiency with an eye kept on limiting the environmental footprint of our event.”

Moving south, the start of the 2018 edition of Argentina’s Jornadas Internacionales, the major cable and satellite TV trade show in the South Cone, will coincide with court proceedings stemming from the biggest corruption scandal in the history of the South American country, in which cable-TV played a surprising a role.

The 28th edition of Jornadas, otherwise known as the International Cable Television Days, will be held September 25-27 at the Hilton Buenos Aires. It’ll begin with conferences and, on September 26, will open its exhibition.

This year’s Jornadas will be unique because it will offer a new opportunity for event co-organizers — the Argentine Association of Cable Television (ATVC) and the Argentine Chamber of Producers and Programmers of Audiovisual Signals (CAPPSA) — to break with the old mold and instead focus exclusively on the interests of the cable TV sector. The two associations have confirmed five conferences related to the current environment. It is expected that some of these conferences will reflect the fact that this edition of the Jornadas will coincide with the trials for the embezzlement of public money –– quantified at approximately U.S.$40 billion.

The multiple cable, satellite, and telco offers (triple-, quadruple-, and quintuple-play) will now be difficult to implement due to the country’s difficult economic situation, which is leading to losses of cable subscribers. High operating costs to upgrade infrastructures will also make any new developments rather unaffordable.

Observers who have witnessed the course of the Argentine cable-TV industry in the last two decades now hope that this year’s Jornadas might serve to foster a frank discussion of the solutions to the problems caused by past corrupt practices.