Gonzalo Larrea - 29/05/2015

Discop Ends Dubai Edition with Positive Results

The tradeshow's second edition, which will be the last in Dubai before it leaves for Egypt, received more attendees than the first and presented positive results for exhibitors and buyers alike. 

*By Gonzalo Larrea from Dubai

This Tuesday said goodbye to the second and final edition of Discop Dubai, which will be making the move to Egypt next year to continue focusing on the whole MENA region.

The tradeshow presented positive results for exhibitors who, in spite of market floor that was far from hectic, highlighted the amount and quality of meetings and their packed agendas.

The event's organization, in turn, mentioned to ttvnews an increase in attendees compared to last year's edition.

"We received more attendees than last year. Before we began we had 560 people registered to come and we closed the event with some 700 participants. In addition, several deals were closed during these three days like the one between Canal+ and MBC3 and another with Ivory Coast's RTI. We also know Turkish distributors also managed to close some deals as well," highlighted to ttvnews Patrick Zuchowicki, CEO of Basic Lead, company that organizes the tradeshow.

"We feel buyers were more serious and the place was better than last year's. The market has grown and that make us very happy," he added.

As for Turkish distributors Kanal D International revealed to ttvnews a volume deal for the US Hispanic market with an undisclosed channel. The deal includes several titles from its catalogue. And it also announced its plans to expand pay-tv network Kanal D Drama into new territories - the channel will launch in Latin America this year and might reach the MENA and CIS regions.

"We have closed a huge amount of deals recently, but one of the most important ones is that we inked a volume deal with a US Hispanic network," mentioned Deniz Cantutan, Sales Manager for MENA, CEE, CIS and the Baltics at Kanal D International.

As for Latin American distributors, the market was also a very positive one, with many of them confident in the comeback of telenovelas in the region.

"We're noticing buyers in this region are more open to telenovelas, and I think that they will slowly but surely gain ground," mentioned José Escalante, from Latin Media Corp.

This change is driven by the threat of the possible prohibition of Turkish content in the region due to political conflicts. An example of this is Egypt, where Abu Dabi's public broadcaster is no longer buying Turkish dramas.

The Latin companies present at the event also included the recently launched Star Contents, which handles the distribution of series produced by Colombian production company 11:11 for Claro Video.

"Star Contents is a company born a few weeks prior to Natpe Miamo and is now beginning to travel around the world and offering productions by 11:11, which was founded by the Cardona brothers a long time ago. They're premium properties of spectacular quality and a short format," mentioned Juan Fernández, President of Star Contents.

The first two titles being distributed by the company are series La Hermandad - with two seasons- and Rubirosa, which has a 12 episode first season that needed a US$ 10 million budget to bring to life the story of Porfirio Rubirosa.

In addition, from all local companies present, the highlight goes to the digital distribution platform Mena.TV, which aims to take Arab content to the rest of the world, while also bringing international content to the Middle East and North Africa.

According to Nick Grande, managing director at ChannelSculptor -the company behind Mena.TV- the MENA region is currently moving some $2 billion in the sale of rights. With thousands of channels interested on buying, Mena.TV is looking to make it easier for international companies to access this market and, in turn, highlight MENA productions internationally.

"From a distributor's point of view, there are opportunities here, but there are also difficulties in overcoming some transparency issues and also a lack of lack of liquidity. Deals in this region can take months to close, so what we're trying to do with Mena.TV is help make this process easier for everyone," mentioned Grande.

Another country that stood out was India, this edition's country of honor, which usually has success when presenting their content in regions where Turkish dramas have already made a dent.

"There is a pattern that we can always identify and that is that Indian dramas tend to work well in territories where Turkish dramas have worked well, even though they look different. Although ratings are not as big, once audiences get used to seeing dramas that come from Asia, viewers respond well to content from India," commented Vivek Lath, Managing Director at GoQuest Media.

Thus, the second edition of the market waves goodbye and is now gearing up for a change in venue, moving to Sharm El Sheikh, over the Red Sea.

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