28 September 2022 The Irish Film & Television Network
Ireland at MIPTV 2014
07 Apr 2014 : Deirdre Molumby & Aisling Newton
MIPTV is the world’s most established TV and digital content market – it could be seen as the Cannes Film Festival for TV. It has the greatest gathering of TV industry professionals including top television executives and creative talent from over 100 countries, including several from our own Irish production companies. Set in Cannes, the world market and creative forum for screen content goes from 7-10 April this year.

Reed Midem UK Managing Director and OBE, Peter Rhodes, has gone so far as saying, “Irish production punches well above its weight at MIPTV. In an age when innovative programmes are being sought after for the international market, there is already talk of Ireland being a great source for great shows.”

RTÉ Global is the re-branded sales, format and distribution division of RTÉ Television which helps Irish producers find international audiences for their content. Edel Edwards, Head of Programme Sale for RTÉ Global, has stated on MIPTV, “This is where we show off our wares… We don’t have the opportunity to go to Australia, or New Zealand, or the US just by hopping on a plane. We can use this to introduce anything new on the RTÉ slate that we think will have international appeal.”

RTÉ Global intend to sell format ideas at MIPTV, including ‘Whose Holiday is it Anyway?’ and ‘The Speech’, as developed through the RTÉ Format Farm scheme. The international broadcaster has had previous success with formats such as ‘Operation Transformation’ and ‘The Hit’, which have both seen positive international sales.

Another major broadcaster eager to sell its unique formats is TV3. The channel, represented at MIP by TV3 Group Director of Content Jeff Ford, TV3 Group Head of Development Andrew Byrne, and TV3 Acquisitions Aidan Murray, will be showing three formats/shows at MIPTV – ‘The Lie’, ‘Crossfire’ and ‘Keith Barry: Brain Hacker.’ Keith Barry has been hosting a number of breakfast and lunchtime meetings so far at MIP, to showcase his programme and interest potential broadcasters and producers.

Keith Barry presents at MIPTV Event

Preceding MIPTV, ‘Brain Hacker’ was bought by a number of Pan America countries, with interest in New Zealand also. ‘The Lie’ is currently being bought by a French TV station, with a Spanish station and a number of indies also showing interest. ‘Crossfire’ will be screened at MIP through DRG and is being considered by some Scandinavian broadcasters. It is TV3’s hope that more deals will be announced for all three shows following the MIP market.

However, not all Irish companies are there to sell. MIPTV facilitates all kinds of deals, and Donal McGuinness from Dublin Film Distributors has confirmed that the company is “a distributor of movies for theatrical and TV, and [they] are going to MIP to purchase mainly features and TV series.”

With over 20 years’ experience in TV and theatrical distribution, Dublin Film Distributors have worked with several production companies in Europe and North America, and emphasises the variety of media platforms, namely VOD, internet and mobile, as well as their extensive catalogue of programming, which includes drama, documentary, and full-length features, though the firm specialises in animation.

JAM Media Chief Executive John Rice has said, “The days of having one single broadcaster commission 100% of a series are almost gone. Now you have to go off and find additional partners.” JAM will be looking to fund four pre-school series called ‘Early Bird’, ‘Pigsticks and Harold’, ‘Nessy and Nelly’ and ‘Little Roy’, which are all in development.

Also in attendance at MIPTV is My Audition Stage. The Cork-based company is a talent management software solution that revolutionises the ways in which TV broadcasting corporations and production houses find the best people to participate in reality shows, game shows and other non-scripted formats. Established in 2013, My Audition Stage has secured customers both nationally and internationally, growing its employee base having participated in The Rubicon Centre New Frontiers Programme.

Having secured major production houses at MIP Com in October 2013, the company’s goal at MIPTV is to demonstrate their software at pre-arranged meetings and show how their software saves time and money while securing the best cast possible. Speaking about MIPTV, Patrick Dinneen said: “Even though we have pre-arranged meetings it’s amazing how many people just walk in and can become a customer. Every detail is crucial, from promoting our stand to Enterprise Ireland staff introducing us to potential customers.

“Given the right platform is it true that introductions/recommendations hold a lot of weight. Despite communication technology growing month by month there is nothing like doing business face to face.”

My Audition Stage is a client of Enterprise Ireland, and praised its ability to scale and secure international markets. Domestically, My Audition Stage is used by Sideline Productions and COCO Productions to source and manage applicants to household shows such as ‘The Great Irish Bake Off’, ‘Room to Improve’ and ‘Don’t Tell the Bride’.

Sideline Productions will themselves be present at MIPTV, at which they will launch panel show ‘Don't Quote Me!’, celebrity series ‘Blood Sweat and Gears’ and BAI-funded ‘Tales of Irish Castles’. Presented by host Simon Delaney, the six hour history series airs on TV3 later in the year.

Sideline is also a finalist in the MIPTV international format pitch this year with an original format called ‘The Power of Love’ (working title). The competition is sponsored by Warner Brothers International Television. Creative director Billy McGrath presented the format pitch live in the main auditorium last weekend.

Others members of the Irish contingent attending MIPTV 2014 include Banijay Group Ireland/Screentime Shinawil Grand Pictures, Cartoon Saloon, Independent Pictures, the Irish Film Board, Kite Entertainment, Like It Love It Ltd., Loosehorse, Magnet Networks Ltd., Monster Entertainment, Waddell Media, Network Ireland Television, Northern Ireland Screen, Telegael, TG4, Tyrone Productions, Video Elephant Ltd., Videobot, Vision Independent Productions, and Waka TV.

Most recently at MIPTV, Co-founder and CEO of The Wit Virginie Mouseler stated, “Keep a close eye on Ireland this year. In terms of formats, it could be the new Israel.” As Israel is renowned in the industry for creating new and original TV formats screened around the world (‘Rising Star’, ‘Prisoners of War/Homeland’, ‘I Can Do That’) Mouseler’s compliment is an important appraisal of where Ireland stands in the competitive TV market.

Keep an eye on IFTN for more news on MIPTV.

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