E.U. buyers, as well as American and British distributors, will experience firsthand the initial consequences of Brexit at the BBC Showcase, which is set for February 9-12 in Liverpool, and at the consequent London TV Screenings, which is happening February 12-14 (see an abridged calendar below). The events will begin just seven days after the official British exit from the E.U. on January 31.
A large number of buyers at the BBC Showcase will reportedly hail from the BBC’s own TV channels. Some are said to be pretty unhappy about their company dismissing 450 BBC journalists in order for the BBC to save £80 million (U.S.$104 million) by 2022.
Also unknown is how many of the content buyers who’ll attend the BBC Showcase will then travel 350 kilometers south to London to screen programs from some 15 distribution companies scattered about town — some of which have conflicting schedules. The first fatality of this organic London Screenings arrangement is Disney, which, after sending invitations to a screening that was to be held on February 7 at the Ham Yard Hotel, elected to cancel, possibly realizing that buyers could have been reluctant to be in London two days before the BBC Showcase, travel to Liverpool, and then head back to London.
It is expected that each screening will house between 30 and 50 buyers on average, with peaks of 150 for some companies. It is also said that neither London event will be costly since they are staged by companies based in London whose only major expense will be renting the screening facilities.
But one thing that’s hard to predict is the total number of buyers that will ultimately attend the events since MIP-TV will be taking place just 44 days later. Many buyers have already committed to the Cannes market where they’re planning to do the bulk of their shopping.
London TV Screenings: A Partial Calendar:
Banijay: February 12, 11 a.m. Everyman Cinema, King’s Cross
ViacomCBS Global Distribution (with Paramount): February 12, 2 p.m. and February 13, 9 a.m., The Soho Hotel
Sony Pictures: February 12, 6 p.m., Golden Square Sony offices (Format Showcase)
MGM: February 12 Cocktail Reception 7 p.m., the Ham Yard Hotel
eOne: February 13, 8:30 a.m., Picture House Central
Lionsgate: February 13, 9 a.m., 12:30 p.m., and 4 p.m., Charlotte St. Hotel
NBCUni: February 13, 1:30 p.m., Odeon, Shaftesbury Ave, Covent Garden
Viacom International Studios: February 13, 9:30 a.m., Durham St. Auditorium at RSA House
Endeavor: February 13, 5 p.m., Everyman, King’s Cross
All 3 Media: February 13, 12:30 p.m., Odeon, Leicester Square