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Reed Midem cancels MipTV

MipTV organiser Reed Midem has confirmed this year’s edition of the event has been cancelled as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.

The annual market had been scheduled to take place in Cannes from March 30 to April 2.

MipFormats and MipDoc, which had been due to precede MipTV on March 28 and 29, have also been cancelled as the total number of people with the virus in France continues to rise.

Reed Midem parent Reed Exhibitions has also canned The London Book Fair, which was due to take place from March 10 to 12, and which sees 1,600 exhibitors trading rights and sales of print, audio, TV and film projects with 14,000 attendees.

The organisation had already been forced to postpone Cannes real estate market Mipim while other events in nearby Nice have been axed after the French government announced a ban on all indoor gatherings of more than 5,000 people over the weekend in a bid to contain the country’s coronavirus outbreak.

Similar measures have been taken by the Swiss and Italian governments and the international TV market calendar faces severe disruption as a result.

MipTV opening party in 2018

Reed Midem CEO Paul Zilk said: “In the current context, many of our clients have expressed concerns about travelling at this time. Rescheduling MipTV in the coming months is not feasible, so the most appropriate course of action is to cancel MipTV for 2020.

“The wellbeing of our clients, partners and staff is our priority. We are grateful to clients for their support and constructive input during this challenging period. We look forward to welcoming everyone to Mipcom in October and we are delighted that Canneseries will be at our side again at the event this year.”

Paul Zilk

The next edition of MipTV is now set to take place from April 12 to 15 next year, with MipDoc and MipFormats scheduled for April 10 to 11.

This year’s edition of Canneseries, meanwhile, has been postponed to October 9 to 14 to coincide with the annual Mipcom market, which is due to take place from October 12 to 15.

“Given the rapidly evolving situation, we have made the difficult decision to postpone the festival. It is our responsibility to protect the health of guests, professionals and the public,” said Fleur Pellerin, president of Canneseries, which was originally scheduled to run parallel to MipTV.

“We are working today to maintain Canneseries as the festival, celebration and event that it has always been. We would like to express our sincere gratitude to the city of Cannes, Canal+ and the private and institutional partners who have already given us their support.”

Many events in Europe, including Series Mania, are still due to take place as planned but their respective organisers are understood to be monitoring developments closely.

The timing couldn’t be worse for Reed Midem, with MipTV already coming under pressure from a packed events calendar and changes in priorities across the global market.

Big-name distributors such as Entertainment One, Fremantle, Banijay and ITV Studios had all already withdrawn from the event prior to the coronavirus outbreak, while the key US studios have not had a major presence at MipTV for the past few years.

This year’s market was already taking place on a vastly reduced floorspace and a different layout after Reed finally gave in to years of pressure to uncouple it from the bigger Mipcom event.

Reed claimed there were 9,500 people registered for last year’s market, with delegates from 100 countries and 3,300 buyers attending.

The number of cases of the Covid-19 disease caused by coronavirus in France has passed 250 and four patients have died. There are also now 15 positive cases in two hotels in Alassio, Italy, just 135km from Cannes.

Cannes has already seen its first case of the virus. Nice mayor Christian Estrosi said a Cannes woman tested positive at Nice University Hospital. The 23-year-old student returned from Milan in Italy recently, according to local reports.

Fears about the virus led to the entire Chinese delegation cancelling its trip to MipTV and the Wisdom of China format showcase moving from MipFormats to Mipcom in October, as C21 revealed last week.

The World Health Organization has issued advice to the public on how to protect themselves and others from the virus.

The global coronavirus death toll has surpassed 3,000 but most people who become infected experience only mild illness and recover.

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