The three-day DISCOP Istanbul, now in it sixth edition, ended last week with mixed reviews, but better than expected without any major incidents. It was held at the usual Istanbul International Convention and Exhibition Center. Sixty exhibitors were present on the market floor, but this year the 10 main Turkish companies — Kanal D, TRT, ITV, ATV, Calinos, Gem, Raya Group, Horizon, Eccho Rights and Global Agency — were grouped in two Turkish Pavilions instead of large individual stands.

Among other participants, TV France International set up its traditional umbrella stand and the European Pavilion housed nine EU distributors. NBCUniversal and Zee Entertainment returned with large stands, while a notable new entry was Entertainment One.

Market organizer Basic Lead’s Patrick Jucaud-Zuckowicki was satisfied with the turnout, “considering the concerns for safety in the area and the dire financial situation of several MENA territories.” Total participants are estimated at 750. (Organizers estimated a 25 percent drop in attendance from last year, with the notable absence of the Chinese and Korean contingents.)

But all stands and meeting desks registered brisk activity on the first two days of the market.

The biggest concern seemed to be the reduced affluence of buyers, especially from the Middle East; all exhibitors registered some cancellations in their schedules of appointments.

Also the proximity of Discop to MIP-TV was perceived as a bit of a problem. Most companies were busy planning their participation at the Cannes event and prefer to introduce new titles there. Latin American companies at Discop – such as Caracol and Telemundo – were busy though, especially since Turkish distributors have raised prices recently and LATAM long-running drama series are again competitive and in high demand.

On the conference end, Day 1 was co-organized with FRAPA as “The Format Day”: conference sessions analyzing the different challenges of the format business in the CEE and MENA territories in the morning and a “Format Showcase” in the afternoon, with pitches by various format creators looking for a distributor. On the second day, sessions focused on digitalization via satellite and programming TV movies in Turkey, with a special look at the latest TRT productions. On the third, conferences focused on Branded Entertainment and Product Placement.

Notable was the lack of evening events: no opening day cocktail and no traditional Global Agency party this year – mostly because Turkish companies didn’t want to sponsor any event due the high exhibiting costs (TRT did sponsor the market bags).

Dates for next year are already set: Feb 28-March 2 2017.

***For more on the market, pick up VideoAge’s April/MIP-TV issue.

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