“MIPTV is here to stay,” declared market director Lucy Smith during the event’s closing press conference. And to make it even clearer, she announced the dates for next year’s MIP, which will be held April 15-17, 2024. This was done, many are speculating, so that the market’s somewhat disappointing showing this year wouldn’t fuel any “dismissive” thoughts.

In the past, it was easy to tell if a MIP market was good based upon the abundance of trade publications that were displayed in Cannes’ many hotels. This time around, however, the market’s organizers opted instead for a North Korean election-style environment, with one lonely magazine — MIP’s own displayed in key hotels. In doing so, they made the bare lobbies of these hotels look like sparse hospital reception areas rather than the festive gatherings of years ago. This, together with other deviations from the norm, did not escape the attention of exhibitors, one of whom made a point to express himself via an “I Hate MIPTV” poster in the Palais.

Strangely, not much excitement was created on the occasion of the market’s 60th anniversary. And a number of exhibitors were reportedly frustrated with some aspects of the event, complaining to VideoAge that they had tried to contact buyers who were indicated as participants, but whom they later discovered weren’t even in attendance at the market.

Despite that, content sellers reported a good number of Asian TV buyers, and that even though they attended with little expectations, meetings were taking place with few no-shows and even some walk-ins.

As for attendance, Smith reported at the press conference that there were some “5,510 delegates in person,” and she assured the press corps that they did not include participants at the concurrent CannesSeries Festival. Some observers, however, did not put the total number at more than 3,000 registrants for MIPTV.

Another frustrating element was the big panel at the entrance of the Riviera area of the Palais that replaced the exhibition guide, which, instead of listing the companies in alpha order, listed them by stand number.

As for the commemoration, Poorhouse’s Reiner Moritz commented: “It seems I am the only participant of all in-person markets who is still in business.” He also remembered that at the very first MIP, there were “119 companies from 19 countries [and that it was considered] a bit disappointing.” This 60th annual edition drew 166 exhibiting companies, not a big improvement, but better than no market at all, and the nice weather got a good number of participants in a sunny mood.

The highlight of MIPTV 2023 was certainly the launch of TVMonaco. The new channel, which is owned by the Principality, will, starting in September 2023, cover all of Cote d’Azur extending from Genoa, Italy. The press conference/breakfast presentation at the newly reopened Carlton Hotel was attended by Salim Zeghdar, TVMonaco’s general director, as well as deputy director and veteran international TV executive Nathalie Biancolli, and many of the station’s executives, including Marie-Pierre Gramaglia and Virginie Lavagna. The new channel will broadcast on a linear schedule and will offer an on-demand version with mostly unscripted programming that will be available in both French and English.

Lots of attention from the press was also lavished upon Paramount Global Content Distribution as it was the only major Hollywood studio there with a large stand. The company also sponsored the MIPDOC opening party on Sunday, April 16. The MIP opening party the following day featured fireworks and a giant birthday cake.

As for the seminar portion of the event, FormatBiz’s Maria Chiara Duranti from Italy moderated a MIPFormat Pitch presentation in front of a highly motivated audience that rushed to the large Debussy Theatre to find out which pitch would win the 5,000 euro prize. It ultimately went to The Show Must Go On from Turkish company Formatworkshop. The seminar, which started 15 minutes late, also included the participation of two jury members from Los Angeles who connected via videoconference.

Pictured above: FormatBiz’s Maria Chiara Duranti moderating the MIPFormat Pitch, Paramount GCD’s executives at the market, the TVMonaco press conference, and the “I hate MIPTV” sign.

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