Let’s start with the mother of all international TV trade shows: MIPCOM, coming up on October 17-20, 2022, with MIPCOM Jr., the children’s TV market, taking place during the preceding weekend at the JW Marriott Hotel in Cannes.

The market organizers, RX France, didn’t waste any of their summer period promoting and pub-licizing it, with multiple e-blasts that started as early as June. And, apparently, the international TV industry has responded in kind with all the U.S. studios planning to attend. Now, if both Russia’s Vladimir Putin and China’s Xi Jinping will just behave, the market promises to be a resounding success.

The exhibition floor will be unrecognizable, with many stands shifting from their onetime spots, like Paramount taking Disney’s former tent, while Unifrance is keeping CBS’s old corner spot on the Riviera, and NBCUni is taking back its stand and terrace on the fourth floor. Italy’s RAI is moving from its traditional stand at the Riviera, taking one across the aisle that in pre-pandemic times was occupied by Germany’s Studio 100, while RAI’s former stand will be taken by Germany’s ZDF. Argentina’s Telefilms will also be in a new location, but still on the P1 level.

In addition, the upcoming edition of MIPCOM will see the reopening of major outdoor stands along the Croisette and surrounding the Palais des Festivals.

The market will also feature a new co-production market: The Seaview Producers Hub, a networking lounge and event space for attendees to explore early-stage development and co-production partnerships.

This year, the market starts a week later than it did in 2021, but that’s not all that unusual. Indeed, in the 1980s it tended to mostly start in the middle of October. And, in 2019, it opened its doors on the 14th.

This time, however, it’s not going to be a “bracelet” edition (as MIPCOM was labeled last year in a VideoAge story for requiring multiple bracelets to prove that participants were COVID-free), though the new safety requirements regarding COVID infections were a bit murky. On the official MIPCOM Jr. site, it reads: “We are pleased to inform that the vaccine pass is not mandatory anymore to access MIPCOM.” And: “Although it is no longer a legal obligation to wear a mask, MIPCOM strongly recommends and encourages that all participants wear masks inside the Palais des Festivals when they are unable to respect social distancing.” Then on the official MIPCOM site, it says: “Per application of the sanitary regulations, to access the show, participants must provide a valid vaccine pass.”

The discrepancy was cleared up with a note to VideoAge from market organizers who reported that “the French authorities do not require a vaccine pass to enter the country or inside any buildings.”

Another official statement that needed to be clarified regarded the attendance figures. According to the MIPCOM website in late August, there were 1,703 expected participants, with 1,384 buyers and 375 exhibitors, which would leave only 319 executives manning 375 stands. “At the moment it’s misleading,” commented a rep for the organization. “The database shows those who have self-registered, and exhibitors who are confirmed, but it doesn’t yet reflect all participants who come with that stand.”

Nonetheless, the market promises to be a winner as it will most likely also attract exe-cutives leaving the MIA market in Rome, Italy (October 11-15) or preparing to go to Monte Carlo for Sportel Monaco (October 24-26).

Unlike with MIPCOM 2021, this time gatherings seem to be encouraged. Indeed, RX France initiated a landmark achievement by a global studio or platform by creating the first Studio of Distinction Award that will be presented to BBC Studios at MIPCOM. The award will be presented in the same week that the BBC reaches the milestone of 100 years of public service broadcasting in the U.K. and 90 years internationally. Receiving the honor will be Tom Fussell, CEO, BBC Studios; Tim Davie, Director-General, BBC; and BBC Studios’ Kids & Family managing director Cecilia Persson.

Then, Charlie Collier, CEO at FOX Ent-ertainment, and Marco Bassetti, CEO of Banijay Group, will each present a keynote address. Their sessions, on the first and second days of the market, will be part of the Media Mastermind keynote series.

The Cannes Diversify TV Awards will return to MIPCOM with a total of 11 winners who will be recognized for championing diversity and inclusion through representation in television series and entertainment programs. This year, such global awards will also include new honors, such as the Behind The Scenes Impact Award and the Premio MIP Cancun for various achievements.

The MIPCOM Diversify TV Awards are or-ganized by MIPCOM with founding partner Diversify TV, in association with presenting partner A+E Networks and award partners Telefilm Canada and All3Media International. The awards will be given out on October 19.

The pre-pandemic “Personality of the Year” award will not take place at MIPCOM 2022. On the other hand, the number of sessions in the 2022 program will be similar to pre-pandemic periods.

So, will this MIPCOM be returning to its old glory? Tarmo Kivikallio, head of Acquisitions & Commissioning for Finland’s Yleisradio, is “not sure if it will be at the level of pre-pandemic but I believe it will be a good market. Even many U.K. and U.S. companies seem to be returning to Cannes.”

Reiner Moritz of Germany’s Poorhouse In-ternational expanded: “I am looking forward to a very good market. Whether it will be on a par with pre-pandemic periods we will know by mid-September. My clients seem to be returning 100 percent. The in-person meetings have priority and most of the broadcasters I have been speaking to do want to meet again. We already had the impression at MIP that people were relieved to be able to meet again.”

Added Beatriz Cea Okan, vice president and head of Sales and Acquisitions for Turkey’s Inter Medya: “We have great plans for this special year that we celebrate Inter Medya’s 30th anniversary. It is [also] very pleasing to hear that there is an interest in Turkish TV content in particular.”

Concurred Ivan Sanchez, Sales director, Latin America, for Turkey’s Global Agency: “MIPCOM has always been an important market for the big buyers in LATAM [and] later we will meet many others who are not able to make it all the way to France and prefer to attend the regional markets.”

Finally, Lucy Smith, director of MIPCOM and Entertainment Division director of RX France, gave a statement: “The industry is coming out on the other side of the pandemic transformed, in ways we couldn’t have imagined, and it’s fair to say we have too. MIPCOM Cannes will be the 38th International Co-Production and Entertainment Content Market. And what’s new in this supersized edition is our placing a new co-production market up front and center. We are launching the Seaview Producers Hub, a 1,000-square-meter event and networking space overlooking the Riviera. This fantastic venue will serve as the deal-making hive for creators, producers, commissioners, financers, development executives, and commercial partners. The client response has been exceptional since announcing these plans with many from the business of co-production citing the new space as a key reason to attend.”

(By Dom Serafini)

Audio Version (a DV Works service)

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