It's television's turn to come to Cannes

30th March 2006, Comments 0 comments

CANNES, France, March 30, 2006 (AFP) - It's been talked about for years and finally it's happening. Digital technology is not only revolutionising how and where people can watch television, but it is also re-shaping the industry.

CANNES, France, March 30, 2006 (AFP) - It's been talked about for years and finally it's happening. Digital technology is not only revolutionising how and where people can watch television, but it is also re-shaping the industry.

And the host of new challenges confronting the TV industry look set to dominate the international MIPTV/MILIA audiovisual trade fair that kicks off here Monday.

The brainstorming conferences that run in parallel with the frenzied five-day TV programme buying and selling spree are likely to be this year's star attractions, industry watchers predict.

Some 12,000 senior executives from the TV, video, cable, satellite and new media worlds are scheduled to flock to this smart Riviera resort, five percent more than last year.

"MIPTV featuring MILIA 2006 will be one of our biggest TV markets yet," Paul Johnson, television director for the show's organisers Reed MIDEM, told AFP.

There are a number of premieres this year, including the first-ever International Interactive Emmy Awards, among television's top prizes.

"This is the first Emmys to be staged outside the USA and confirms our efforts to stay ahead of the curve as digital technology re-shapes our industry," Johnson added.

Thanks to these latest digital advances, TV is leaping out of its box and on to PCs, playstations, mobile phones and even the iconic iPod's latest video reincarnation.

Hopes are high that these will all bring in new revenue streams, but this metamorphosis is also catapulting viewers into the driving seat, experts note.

TV fans increasingly will have greater choice and more control over what they want to watch and where, when and how to view it.

"The consumer will decide," FremantleMedia's chief creative officer Gary Carter pointed out recently.

With such major changes in the air, interest in the packed conference programme is sure to be high.

In addition, a number of the world's most influential figures in new media and multiplatform TV, will come to town to give their views about how the industry needs to change to hold on to their viewers.

Speakers, including Internet heavyweight AOL's chief executive Jonathon Miller, will tackle some of the major issues facing the business today — the growth of mobile TV and entertainment, TV on the Internet (IPTV) and on-demand viewing.

TV fans should in for a treat as content is no longer only being produced for viewing on a television in the home, top media experts point out.

Within the next two years, the TV industry will increasingly consider "how a format will work, creatively, and technically on all the relevant platforms, from mobile to PSP (PlayStation portable)," the BBC's new media and technology senior exec Ashley Highfield said in an interview in the MipTV News magazine.

Mobile TV and video have been tipped as two of the most promising new avenues for both the media and the phone companies, alike.

So one of the week's high points is expected to be a presentation by Nokia's senior executive Ilkka Raiskinen of the promising findings of its latest TV trials in Britain and Finland.

This summer's football World Cup extravaganza will provide a perfect opportunity for millions of TV fans to experience the latest digital advances as for the first time coverage will available on new media cellphones, the Internet and high-definition TV.

With new media the main buzzword, a large Asia-Pacific presence is expected to jet in for the event. To date, 558 companies from the region are due to attend, which will account for 15 percent of the total 3,724 companies from 92 countries already signed up.

Hi-tech powerhouses South Korea and Japan both figure in the list of top 10 exhibiting countries.

But the show also promises lots of good old-fashioned glamour and stars, led by the Emmy Awards ceremony Wednesday.

Joining the host for the evening, 'Desperate Housewives' star Roger Bart, will be Dennis Heysbert of '24' fame, France's Corinne Touzet and Latin telenovela actress Veronica Schneider, to name but a few.

Partying aside, the omens are also good for a bumper selection of new TV shows, from potent drama to edgy documentaries, celebrity-driven reality shows, interactive game shows and kids programmes.

Among some of the more unusual new offerings up for grabs, are Monty Python comedian John Cleese's whacky look at 'The Art of Football'.

Another is 'Rollergirls' where women who are waitresses, biologists etc. by day change into skimpy outfits by night and let their fists — and their fishnets — fly in the high-speed world of roller skating derby.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

0 Comments To This Article