A bombshell of sorts was dropped at last year’s MIPCOM when Sony Pictures executives told some of their clients (who reported it to VideoAge) that the group planned to skip future MIPCOM markets. MIP-TV had already been on Sony’s no-fly list, but MIPCOM’s addition to that list was news to most, although not completely unexpected.
In an effort to expand on the buzz, VideoAge collected reports that credit new Sony Pictures TV chairman Mike Hopkins — a former CEO of Hulu — as the architect behind the decision.
“Knowing Mike and Vince [aka Tony Vinciquerra, chairman and CEO of Sony Pictures], I’m not surprised,” said one former U.S. studio executive who asked not to be named.
Another Hollywood insider explained it further: “Sony’s format biz division [formerly known as 2waytraffic] will probably continue to attend MIP and MIPCOM, but for library sales they don’t need the markets anymore. Plus, they didn’t land big U.S. network shows. Keith [LeGoy, president, Worldwide Distribution] can run sales with a small team. It’s not that Sony won’t go, it’s that they won’t spend directly with [market organizer] Reed Midem. They will throw a Sony dinner, take a villa, and buy eight admission badges,” he said, before adding that “DreamWorks never took a booth and just stayed at the Carlton without any problems. [Otherwise, then-head of TV distribution] Hal Richardson would have gone to Cap d’Antibes and run a shuttle keeping the buyers for half a day.”
Reached by phone, a Sony Pictures spokesperson in Culver City declined to comment on the matter.