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Television Industry Bounces Back At MIPTV 2002

Last October, MIPCOM 2001 Personality of the Year, MTV's Tom Freston, stated in response to the events of September 11th and the diminished attendance of the market, "TV will bounce back." This year's MIPTV, which took place in Cannes from April 15 to 19, 2002, showed strong evidence that the television community is on the way to recovery. Organizer Reed Midem reported over 2,600 buyers from 1,052 companies attended the market and representing an increased number of buyer companies, up 20% from last year. While the total number of delegates declined from last year (10,200 delegates representing 2,715 companies from 97 countries in 2002 versus 11,049 delegates from 2,827 companies and 90 countries in 2001), there was growth from key countries and regions such as Canada, with 114 exhibiting companies (up from 80 last year) and Asia - especially Japan and Korea, which ranked as the 4th and 8th largest exhibiting nations, with S. Korea almost tripling the number of exhibiting companies in 2002 (33 this year; 13 in 2001). Some of the deals made in the Asia Pacific region included: Korean broadcaster Daekyo Network Broadcasting acquired exclusive rights to EMTV's Junior branded programs for three years and committed to buy a minimum of 468 half-hours from the Junior library, Japan's NHK, UBC Thailand and SBS Korea picked up Sesame Workshop and Pepper's Ghost Productions CGI series TINY PLANETS and Sony Japan took all rights to Hit Entertainment's stop-motion animated series PINGU.

In brief, here are some other notable MIPTV deals:

* Two of BBC Worldwides new animations have seen presales with deals for ACE LIGHTNING and ANDY PANDY. New Zealand's TVNZ has come onboard both series, while SIC (Portugal) has picked up ACE LIGHTNING and Indonesias TV7 has taken ANDY PANDY.

* Saban International Paris and UK broadcaster ITV closed a pre-buy for animated series TOFU FAMILY (52 x 11-minutes).

* Fireworks International (UK) sold seasons one and two of its teen drama series "Being Eve" to Noggin (a joint venture between Nickelodeon and Sesame Workshop). The 26x30-minute series blends live-action with CGI, music video and photomontage.

* US cable channel Tech TV purchased rights for UK company Carlton Internationals classic puppet animation series THUNDERBIRDS.

* The UK's Granada International sold animation series ENGIE BENJY to Singapore, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

* Cartoon Network Europe and Frances Alphanim entered a co-development agreement on ROBOTBOY (52 x 13-minutes) to be delivered in 2003.

* Spains Cromosoma sold 104 episodes of THE TRIPLETS to Fox Kids Holland,and inked a licensing deal with them, while Fox Kids Italy acquired 13 episodes of Cromosoma's MINIMAN and 39 episodes of THE TRIPLETS.

* Germanys peppermint has secured Asian distribution rights to the entire catalogue of DIC Entertainment, which amounts to 59 titles and over 1,100 episodes.

The international television communitys next meeting will be MIPCOM, which will be held in Cannes from October 7 to 11, 2002. A new feature will be added to the television markets. In response to a call from many companies, they will have the opportunity to organize screenings of TV films, mini-series and event films in the Palais des Festivals during the market. The 10th MIPCOM JUNIOR will be held immediately prior to MIPCOM, on October 5 and 6, 2002.