By Mike Reynolds

To the casual observer, international TV markets — MIPCOM, MIP Cancun, AFM and ATF — look to be facing tough times. But incredibly, even this far out for some of those markets, the information coming back is highly positive.

First on the list of the four upcoming markets is MIPCOM, and, according to Patrick Keegan, spokesperson for market organizer RX, “more than 250 exhibitors from over 40 countries are already confirmed, with Riviera exhibition halls and outdoor Croisette beach exhibition areas now sold out.” The initial exhibitor line-up spans major studios, as well as production and distribution groups. To date, 16 countries have also confirmed National Pavilions, hosting hundreds of producers and distributors.”

With AI raising its head in Hollywood strike negotiations, the topic will also feature at MIPCOM, via a MIP LAB, which will also address the growing FAST side of the small screen business.

Reiner Moritz of London-based Poorhouse International continues his consistency, loyalty, and belief in attending every MIPCOM and MIPTV since the inception of both markets, insisting, they are, “very valuable to us. Smaller broadcasters send their heads of Acquisitions, who sometimes do all the buying. Others send specialists, as well. In any case, we are selling performance and docs usually very well. We are also looking forward to meeting the French, the Italians, and the U.K. contingent. As our material is not suitable for the U.S., we don´t particularly care whether they are coming or not.”

MIP Cancun will celebrate its 10th anniversary, with many major players and a numerically strong booking list of companies and individuals at what is billed as “the world’s largest hub for Spanish-language content.” The growing movement of FAST channels in Latin America, the U.S. and Canada is being reflected by a noticeable rise in attendees from that area and the topic will be addressed in a pre-market Summit (November 14).

Steve Saltzman of Electric Entertainment said the company will “definitely” be attending MIP Cancun, as well as all the others on the above list, along with additional markets. “However, the [Hollywood] strike brings up a question of how we’ll attend. We may cut back on the number of people attending some of the lesser markets. We have a catalog to license regardless of production.”

As for the AFM, there have been rumblings about the future of the event (too many markets around its dates) and some are worried about the move to a new venue in Santa Monica (Le Meridién Delfina). However, it seems the naysayers are being proved wrong, as, “Exhibition space is selling incredibly fast. Over 100 leading international sales and production companies already are committed,” said AFM publicist Jennifer Garnick, who added that “territorial Buyers representing all segments of distribution are confirmed from more than 40 countries, with more coming in each day,” and she added, that the tandem Location Expo, “already has more than 30 film commissions and production service companies confirmed.”

Darrin Holender, CEO and president of Multicom Entertainment Group, will be at AFM, as well as MIPCOM, and said, “These markets are mainly for independents like us.” Holender also dismissed any worries. “Most independent distributors are not affected by anything other than buyers’ demand for content, which doesn’t seem to be coming down.” He also noted the fact that the company has a “Deep IP library,” which means “unlimited opportunities” for remakes and/or reboots, and makes attending the markets a must.

Chevonne O’Shaughnessy, president of ACI, is attending MIPCOM and MIP Cancun. With 1,000 hours of content in her library. Chevonne is also launching her own FAST channel, and being the head of a small company, she recognizes that “we are able to pivot sooner” than most others. For her, MIP Cancun is a natural as “we already have Latin partners.” She revealed that the overall costs are lower than other markets. But it isn’t just the four markets mentioned above that she is concerned about. There are so many more markets, especially around AFM, and she wonders how many can realistically continue. “I think at the end of this year we will see a change in what markets survive,” she said.

Yeow Hui Leng, Group Project Director of Singapore’s ATF, suggested that “Despite the ongoing global challenges,” she sees a robust market this year as “demand for Asian content, especially dramas, remains strong.” Leng also noted that ATF is, “a market that attendees, cannot afford to miss for the Asian region.”

As with the other three markets surveyed, the subject of AI will be part of the market discussion. Also in line with the other markets, ATF is witnessing an increase in attendance bookings from those involved in FAST channel businesses, and while animation for younger audiences has always been a strongly popular format, for the first time, ATF will feature an adult-oriented Animation Lab and pitch session away from the sales floor.

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