Lots of real news, unsubstantiated rumors — and even an announcement — were swirling around the Palais during the most recent edition of MIP-TV, which ended on Thursday, April 11, after a four-day market.

The first bit of news was about next year’s MIP-TV. It was revealed that exhibitors who were housed in tents outside the Palais this year will be brought inside the Palais for the 2020 event.

Then there was the rumor that the April event would be moving to Portugal, which is not only impossible, but has not even been contemplated by Reed MIDEM, MIP-TV’s organizers.

Another (real) news item came courtesy of Turkish exhibitors, who were told by Reed MIDEM of a possible MIP Istanbul event in February that would have a MIP Cancun format (with pre-scheduled meetings).

More news was generated by the Romanian contingent, which was at MIP-TV promoting a new “hybrid” event to be held in Bucharest June 2020 — prior to NATPE Budapest — with Reed MIDEM pitching in with its MIP Academy program.

Other news concerned the appointment of Lucy Smith as deputy director of Reed MIDEM’s Television Division, and Bénédicte Touchard taking over MIP Cancun from Ted Baracos, who will now oversee MIP China.

The announcement concerned the fact that the April market will no longer be tied to its successful sister event, October’s MIPCOM, which means that exhibitors will now be able to rent space separately.

In addition, this year Reed MIDEM finally decided to put the buyers center stage by teaming up the MIPDrama Buyers Summit with the newly created MIP Buyers Exchange.

The fourth edition of the MIPDrama Buyers Summit kicked off during the weekend on April 7. A total of 450 buyers and commissioning editors were invited to exclusive previews of 10 upcoming series.

The Buyers Exchange was a new service designed to further the sales process among buyers. This latest resource allowed exhibitors to arrange pre-scheduled, one-on-one meetings according to their acquisition strategies and market agenda. A similar tool was previously instituted for the markets in Central America, MIP Cancun, and Asia, MIP China.

Of relevance to the conference portion of the market was the Achievement in International Television award given to CBS Global Distribution’s Armando Nuñez. It was celebrated with a ceremony held on Monday evening at the Palais, followed by a cocktail reception at the Carlton Hotel. This was the second MIP-TV award received by the 59-year-old Nuñez, who, in 2013 received MIP-TV’s Medal of Honor, together with his father, Armando Nuñez, Sr., a former U.S. studio executive. During his 36-year career, Nuñez also held executive positions at ABC, Viacom, New World, Universal, and CBS Paramount.

The award is an annual event presented by Variety in association with Reed MIDEM, who have partnered for awards at MIP-TV and MIPCOM since 2016. MIP-TV’s press office told VideoAge Daily: “Reed MIDEM and Variety agreed on an angle for each award (International Achievement and Vanguard) and we work together on a list of personalities eligible for the award. Each award recipient gives a MIP keynote.”

Variety used to be part of Reed MIDEM’s corporate group, but isn’t any more. The publication didn’t exhibit at MIP-TV this year, either.

The seventh annual MIP-TV Medailles d’Honneur prize was awarded to EbonyLife Media CEO Mo Abudu (Nigeria), producer Ilene Chaiken (U.S.), Banijay Group chairman Stéphane Courbit (France), and Sky Vision’s MD Jane Millichip (U.K.) for “their talent and leadership in the international television community.” The ceremony, in the form of a cocktail reception and presentations, took place at Cannes’ Carlton Hotel.

Another event celebrated was the 40th anniversary of VideoAge’s Dom Serafini at MIP-TV, which was commemorated with coffee and croissants at the Croisette Corner restaurant.

At the event, Serafini also spoke of a call he’d received from Mike Williams in the Reed MIDEM press office, who asked which hotel he’d be staying at during the event, prompting Serafini to worry that the market was going to call the gendarmerie to ban him from Cannes due to his honest reporting about the market over the years. Instead, Serafini was presented with a bottle of champagne and a nice congratulatory note signed by the higher-ups at Reed MIDEM.

But there weren’t any official words from MIP-TV organizers about the disappearance of Twentieth Century Fox Studios, which was acquired by Disney just before MIP-TV began.

France was the Country of Honor at this year’s MIP-TV, but very little news came of it in any form outside the fact that a record number of French TV companies were in attendance.

Concerning the news and announcement, some observers noted that, despite the promised revitalization of the market, the organizers continued to focus on the conference portion of the event (as indicated by MIP-TV’s own Daily, which was mostly keen on featuring action from the podiums, with very little from the exhibition floor). On a positive note, though, many panelists were drawn from the exhibitors’ list, giving them more exposure for their money.

Another suggestion given by some market participants to MIP-TV organizers was to combine the various MIP events (like MIPDoc, MIPDrama and MIPFormats) into a single market with one registration badge. Right now, the thinking goes, MIP-TV is too spread out (with stands both inside and outside the Palais) and too long (with separate events during different days).

Regardless of the official number of participants, MIP-TV was productive for all companies contacted by VideoAge Daily, with reports of meetings taking place and full schedules on the calendars. And this survey included companies from several countries, such as the U.S., Turkey, Italy, France, and Germany, as well as umbrellas like the European Media stand and the Quebec pavilion.

One of MIP-TV’s biggest challenges has to do with a “perception” problem created by empty corridors and large unoccupied spaces inside the Palais (as pointed out in VideoAge Daily). But this will likely be remedied next year by bringing the exhibitors now housed outside into the Palais.

Among the curiosities present at the market, it was noticed that Italy’s Rai Com stand had, for the 6th consecutive year, a team of two chefs who arrived from Umbria together with a four-person support team, to feed gourmet food, dessert, and Italian coffee to over 200 MIP-TV participants during breakfast and lunch each day. The chefs used the kitchen of a local Cannes restaurant to prepare and cook the food, which was later warmed up at the stand before being served

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