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Reed Midem cancels Mipcom in Cannes

Last year’s Mipcom in Cannes

Mipcom organiser Reed Midem has made the annual October television market and conference a digital-only event dubbed Mipcom Online+ amidst the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

The physical version of Mipcom was due to take place in Cannes on October 12-14 but was today cancelled.

Reed Midem attempted to make the market coronavirus-compliant, announcing at the end of July that it was cutting the number of days, removing exhibition stands from the Palais and rebranding the event as Mipcom Rendezvous Cannes to run alongside a digital market.

Laurine Garaude, director of Reed Midem’s TV division, said: “Our motivation has always been to bring together the global entertainment community around the flagship week of Mipcom in order to support content discovery and new business deals, whether online or in person. We made clear when we announced Mipcom Rendezvous Cannes that we would only hold the physical market if conditions permitted.

“Due to the ongoing uncertainty around Covid-D19 and recently increased travel restrictions, we believe that Mipcom Online+ is the most effective way to move forward and to gather the global television community around Mipcom Week.”

Online+ will be an online market and conference held in the same week of October with a conference, upfronts and screenings programme branded Main Stage Cannes. A virtual exhibit hub and database will allow users to set up video business meetings between distributors, producers, buyers and all international delegates.

Mipcom Follow Up+ will run from October 17 to November 17, offering replays of screenings, keynotes and conference sessions from Mipcom and MipJunior.

South Korea was today named the event’s Country of Honour for 2020.

Cases of Covid-19 continue to spike around Europe, with the UK imposing two-week quarantines on travellers from affected areas, often at short notice, and many international companies have placed work travel bans on their staff for the duration of 2020.

UK-based distribution giants BBC Studios, ITV Studios and Fremantle were the first to confirm they would not be sending delegations to Cannes. They were quickly followed by US firms Entertainment One and A+E Networks.

A further significant blow was dealt at the start of September when European production and distribution behemoth Banijay, fresh from its US$2.2bn takeover of Endemol Shine Group, also said it would not attend.

In August, the French government extended a ban on gatherings of more than 5,000 people, which it had hoped to lift in September, until October 30, covering the duration of Mipcom. The event is one of the biggest on the international content business event calendar and regularly attracts many more delegates than that.

Today, as happened with the smaller MipTV event in April, Reed has been forced to admit defeat and cancel the event for the first time in its history.

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