DISCOP EAST 18 | 23 - 25 June 2010 | Press release
DISCOP EAST 18 : deals and trends
Launched in 1991, DISCOP markets facilitate business between content distribution, programming and coproduction executives active in 101 developing countries where tangible, human connections are still crucial drivers of business, and which are accounting for a fast-growing portion of all content licensing revenues generated worldwide.
This year's event dedicated to Central and Eastern Europe – DISCOP EAST 18 drew in 304 companies participating as sellers from 36 countries and 406 companies participating as buyers from 31 countries. Of these, 265 companies represented TV stations and pay-TV platforms, with additional representatives from territorial agents, home video distributors and alternative new media platforms.
Attendance at the DISCOPRO training and pitching program, this year held a day prior to the official. DISCOP kickoff, was up by 20 percent. During the day-long event, six short-listed producers pitched their projects to a panel of commissioning executives. The two winning projects were Paradis Perdu (Lost Paradise) from France's Shooting Prod and The Institution from Hungary's Szupermodern Studio. CEETV Ltd. opened the conference with a presentation about Recent TV Co-productions Initiated within CEE.
In a nutshell, the economic downturn in the region has resulted in several main trends for the region. Channels have clearly lowered their budgets for high-cost productions (including adaptations of scripted formats), big shiny floor formats are still hot, but mostly relying on proven titles like 'Got Talent' and 'Dancing with the Stars'. Realities remain attractive as long as they are cheap. Finished non-scripted programming continues to sell well on regional multi-territory broadcasters or local niche nets. The crisis did not open a new niche for such product on the leading terrestrial channels, which chose to replace local productions with more scripted acquisitions. Russia remains the only market where adapted fiction formats are preferred to ready-made product.
Broadcasters from the region have also started cooperating more and more in the production and distribution of local content, with the best examples coming from the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Turkish telenovelas reconfirmed their status as the hottest property for the Balkans and it will be interesting to see if some local broadcasters pick up those shows as formats in the future.
Many companies reported deals before, during and right after the market. In an interview for ceetv.net, Dori Media revealed that they have sold their new format 'uMan' to Mega in Greece where it will soon debut as well as to other 15 territories, with many other deals in negotiation; the company has also made deals for its new teenage vampire series Split. BBC Worldwide has sold two primetime dramas to TV3 in Russia, along with scoring a deal for more than 120 hours of programming with TBi in Ukraine. TV3 went for the first three seasons of Being Erica and seasons one and two of Survivors. The male-skewed channel TBi picked up a number of series from across the catalog. Titles include Life, Wonders of the Solar System, How Earth Made Us, Oceans and all three seasons of Robin Hood. Globo TV International sold its International Emmy Award-winning telenovela India: A Love Story to TV3 in Latvia (just launched). The distributor also signed an agreement with Hungarian cable outlet Ozone Network for a slate of documentaries. A host of deals have been signed by DRG across Eastern Europe for the primetime BBC factualentertainment title The Real Hustle. The upcoming seventh season was presold to BBC Worldwide Channels for a primetime broadcast on BBC Entertainment in Poland, where the show will launch later this year.
Chello Central Europe picked up seasons three thru six for Spektrum. The Chello deal also includes two special themed seasons: The Real Hustle: Las Vegas and The Real Hustle Winter and Christmas Specials. Spektrum will air the series across the Czech Republic, Hungary and the Slovak Republic. Season two of BBC drama Criminal Justice was sold in Poland and Croatia. BBC Entertainment will air the 5x60' series in Poland, while public broadcaster HRT picked up the show for Croatia. Chello Zone has acquired 250 hours of programming for its Zone Reality and Extreme Sports Channel from Shine International. The shows will air on Zone Reality and Extreme Sports Channel across the EMEA region.
A number of broadcasters in Central and Eastern Europe have signed up for programming from FremantleMedia Enterprises (FME).The third season of Merlin went to TV3 in Russia, ProTV in Romania and Poland's Polsat. Also in drama, Monday Monday was picked up by Fox in Bulgaria. In Poland, Canal+/Planete bought Invasion of the Giant Pythons: Florida with Nigel Marvin, An Article of Hope, The Da Vinci Shroud, Egypt's Animal Mummies and the third installment of Big Ideas for a Small Planet. BBC Poland took on Kevin McCloud's Grand Tour, Rome Unwrapped and Christianity: A History. Also scoring a pickup were Cracking Antiques, season two of Grow Your Own Drugs and the Grow Your Own Drugs Christmas special. ITV Studios Global Entertainment has sold a package of programming to Hungary's 4 Story TV that includes titles such as Shaftesbury Films' Murdoch Mysteries. Global Agency signed its first deals for the hit Greek telenovela The Secrets of Eden, which is headed to Antena 1 in Romania and TV7 in Bulgaria, while Turkish super hit 1001 Nights continues its Balkan roll-out with pick-ups in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia.
More than 600 hours of programming from MTV Networks International (MTVNI) is headed to Rustavi2 in Georgia. The deal includes shows such as Punk'd, Pimp My Ride, Cribs, Jersey Shore and Paris Hilton's My New BFF. Rustavi2 also has the rights to localize a package of content, as part of a MTV-branded environment, the first of its kind for MTVNI worldwide. The deal is the largest to date for MTVNI in Georgia. ALL3MEDIA International has signed a number of deals in countries such as Slovenia, Russia and Ukraine. Format deals came in the way of FILMPOOL's 'Families at the Crossroads' heading to Ukraine's 1+1 for production and broadcast.
Telefe International was on hand at DISCOP, presenting titles such as Secrets of Love and Love's Guard, which was sold to RTL Klub in Hungary and launched this week. 'The Successful Mr. and Mrs. Pells', 'Countdown' (Cuenta Atras) and Variations are currently in preproduction for the Russian networks CTC and REN TV and 'Los Roldan' is headed to Greece. Telenovela Wild Angel is returning to TV4 in Hungary. Croatia's RTL Televizija has acquired rights to Telemundo Internacional telenovela Missing. The Eastern European broadcaster is due to debut the series – Telemundo's adaptation of Chilean telenovela Where Is Elisa? – on 14 July in a 15.40 time slot. Secret Lies, the 2008 telenovela from Miami-based Hispanic channel Telemundo, is continuing its Central and Eastern European career with a broadcast deal in Romania. My Parents Are Gonna Love You, Banijay International's new entertainment format first produced in the US, is heading for a Romanian adaptation. Commercial broadcaster Antena 3 has licensed the show.
The 19th edition of DISCOP East will take place again at the Sofitel in Budapest and will be held from June 21 to 23 (Tuesday to Thursday). DISCOPRO this time though will take place after the market, on June 24 (Friday).
(c) July 2010