Shialey Tan Assistant Vice President, International Business, Caldecott Productions International MediaCorp’s biggest sales successes in 2008 will be Supermen of Malegaon, which is one of the three winners of The Asian Pitch organized by NHK, KBS and MediaCorp. As for Caldecott Productions International, it will be The Mud, about one of the worst and biggest environmental accident of all. The five winning stories for The Asian Pitch 2008 will be making their debut in MIPTV. They are: For the Love of Shakespeare, Life After Death, The Icemen – Angadias of India, The Weaver’s Tale, A Farmer’s Struggle. In 2009, I have faith in the following award winning programmes Made In China, Why Icarus Cannot Fly, Scissorhand, The Mummy Thief and Women, Water & 10,000 Miles. Alejandro Toro Sales Executive for Asia and Africa, Caracol TV Without a doubt, The Cartel was our biggest success in 2008 not only in Asia where we syndicated the production in various countries but in the whole world, where we sold it to more than 50 countries. The economic downturn is affecting the budgets of the buyers and they are taking their time to make their decisions more carefully. We think that all crisis bring new opportunities to reinvent the business and to build, together with our clients, new business models beneficial for both parties. Caracol produces different types of telenovelas and series and the highest hope rely on the original trendy series like The Cartel and obviously, classic romantic dramas will always have a high demand in Asia. Christine Fellowes Managing Director, Comcast International Media Group Asia Pacific There is a demand for ‘feel good’ and escapist programming. As lives are touched by the more challenging economic realities of the current environment, people look to television to escape from stress and the routines of daily life. Our brands provide destinations that fulfill this need. The shrinking growth in advertising will put pressure on license fees, although we’re cost effective as an alternative to big budget prime time series. Buyers often ramp up the volume with programs from E! and The Style Network which provide a higher margin and sit well on a schedule with dramas, movies and Hollywood series. We expect growth in our syndication business as expensive local production is restricted by sponsorship and advertising revenues. CIM is famous for high quality light entertainment that can work well in a schedule around prime time local drivers. We have an ability to be more creative about our deal structure which works for clients in challenging times. In 2009, we have high hopes for Running in Heels from Style; Candy Girl’s Inc. from E!; Streets of Hollywod from E!; Sports Soup from Versus; and new G4 programs which includes G4 Underground and House of Cards. Richard Henson Regional Director, Programme Sales Asia-Pacific, Discovery Enterprises International In 2008, Discovery Channel’s key series such as Deadliest Catch and Man vs. Wild, along with reality-based programmes such as the ‘Ink’ series (LA Ink, Miami Ink) from Discovery Travel & Living were popular. There is always a demand – both among viewers and broadcasters – for well-produced, high quality, factual content, which is Discovery’s strength. In light of the current economic downturn, buyers would want to get the most value for their money. Compelling, locally relevant content – where Discovery’s 25 years of leadership in quality programming productions delivers – would be top choice. With Discovery’s vast library of content which includes several award-winning programmes, we continue to provide our buyers with the best in factual entertainment. This year, we are excited about our new programme, Jockeys, from Animal Planet. This is a compelling series that follows several athletes as they compete amongst each other during a 30-day horse racing season, literally risking life and limb as jockeys actually lose their lives while riding races in North America. The series gives viewers an inside look at the cut-throat competition and follows the action from pre-race jitters to the finish line – and everything in between. Yukihiko Amagi Senior Managing Director, MICO (Media International Corp.) One of our biggest sales successes in 2008 is Miracle Body. This series features the almost superhuman athletic prowess of top-class athletes. Making extensive use of various filming techniques NHK has developed, Miracle Body captures and analyzes four actions of the body – running, swimming, jumping and reacting. There has been a revival of popularity for Japanese drama, and the need for educational content has increased. In light of the current recession, some of our clients have asked for an adjustment of the license fee. We forecast that the impact of the downturn will emerge more in 2009. In 2009, we have high hopes for the drama series, Princess Atsu. This drama was the biggest hit in Japan. In addition, animation series ERIN the Beast Player, TYTANIA and The Telepath Girl will also do well. These series have the highest quality in Japan animation. Lanny Huang General Manager, Playboy TV Asia & Japan 2008 was a year we saw sales driven by some of our most popular and timeless programming such as Sexcetera and Playboy’s feature films bought in high volume and bundled in with our newest productions from the reality-based genre. It seems every company right now is doing what they can to save costs in this recession and a deflation of currency has played a role in this tough financial climate. However so far we’ve seen buyer’s budgets stay roughly on track with years prior. This may be due to the fact that branded content and erotic content still drives viewership and profit. In 2009 we will be focused on our new productions, specifically our reality-based and magazine offering. Such shows as 69 Sexy Things to Do Before you Die (23 x 30’), a series mixing adventure with eroticism is a countdown of the ultimate sex checklist. In addition, we will be introducing at MIPTV Search for the Perfect Girlfriend (6×30’), Male viewers submit pictures of their girlfriends to compete for a chance to do test shoots for Playboy and E-rotic (10 x 30’), a fun and fast paced look at popular and personal erotic websites. Playboy films/reality programs will be still the main content that every buyer is still acquiring and retaining their acquisition budget for. We also see the Playboy HD will move quickly and will be launched in other parts of Asia in 2009 & 2010. Annie Yim Executive Director of Licensing, Greater China at Sony Pictures Television International (SPTI) Besides our blockbuster movies, our biggest sellers last year were our series Damages, Cashmere Mafia and The Spectacular Spider-Man. Female PMEB-targeted dramas featuring strong female leads was the emerging trend last year and this year that trend continues. Drop Dead Diva is a hilarious dramedy about a size zero model who, after a fatal car accident, finds herself returned to life in the body of a plain-looking size-12 female attorney. Time Heals stars Jada Pinkett Smith as the charismatic and strong-willed director of nursing for a hospital, who must juggle her demanding career with her equally important role as a single parent. Although we are only two months into 2009, it has been a great year so far. Our movie Paul Blart: Mall Cop was the #1 movie in the US two weeks in a row. We also have six new series picked up by various networks. Besides the aforementioned shows Time Heals and Drop Dead Diva, we also have received tremendous interest in licensing our action drama The Beast starring Patrick Swayze, our police procedural The Unusuals, our primetime animated series Sit Down, Shut Up and our supernatural thriller Demons. Michelle Wasserman Head of International Distribution, Programming, Formats & Production Services, Telefe International In 2008 several interesting or outstanding contracts were closed, and it was due to three different aspects: 1) Properties that have made quite an impact in their local adaptations or successful broadcast of the original version; 2) negotiations with very attractive conditions and; 3) for penetrating new territories or where these negotiations are more limited. Regarding the first point, we refer to Taking Lives which was sold to more than 20 countries. Other productions include Wild Angel, whose home video version was launched this year in several countries, Flinderella which has been aired in over 100 countries and is still being sold as a format of ready made product, or Forever Julia, which was aired in over 40 countries in its original version and adapted in 10 countries. Regarding Asia, we have set foot in Vietnam for the first time, closing the adaptation of Forever Julia for The Philippines and a Asian pan-regional cable. After working on Asian territories in the last years we opened a series of negotiations in 2008 which are being closed in 2009 in territories such as The Philippines and Malaysia. We will also be closing agreements for the first time in China, Hong Kong and Japan. Xavier Aristimuño VP International Sales & Business Development Asia, Telemundo Internacional Second Chance continues to be one of our stars not only in Asia, but all around the world. It was such a major success in Sahara One in India that the leading actress of the novella traveled around the country for more than a week meeting the fans of the show in more than four cities. It was also a success in the Philippines in ABS-CBN being the number one rated international telenovela airing in the country. In Astro in Malaysia, Second Chance also achieved great performance. The novella has been sold to many other Asian territories and where it will be airing in 2009. This year, we may see an increasing interest from broadcasters in acquiring our most successful series and novellas for the production of local format versions. In light of a recession the best strategy will be for broadcasters to acquire content that have been produced with proven international track record. We have four titles with very different styles that not only have outperformed in Latin America, but are becoming icons in the Telenovela genre. Those novellas are Analia, Victoria, Doña Barbara and Without breasts there is no paradise. Tarun Mehra Business Head Asia Pacific, Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd. Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd. is synonymous to Indian entertainment across the world. Particularly for Zee, the trend saw the interest in dramas of all genres. From romantic dramas (Rabba Ishq na hove, Jab Love Hua), woman oriented soaps (Ghar Ki laxmi Betiyan, Saat Phere, Astitva, etc) to mythological and supernatural dramas (Raavan, Naagin). In 2008, family dramas were packaged into different seasons instead of long episodes, leading to a substantial increase in demand. Bollywood movies were also syndicated by the channel, specifically in China. Even though there is an interest in new genre of programs the financial meltdown has made buyers averse of experimenting with new genres. Clients check the content in terms of popularity and take an informed decision based on program performance indicators. Hence, buyers will play safe in 2009. In the current economic scenario, Zee will continue to thrive in selling family dramas which are its forte and have been in demand evidently. Mohd Irman Nawawi CEO, MyGo Solutions Our biggest sales success was in securing a contract from a local private company to develop serious games (education) for the English Language Training (ELT) market. This project is funded by the Malaysian Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation and is scheduled to complete by mid-2009. Another success we had in 2008 is in securing a content partnership agreement with Malaysia’s leading satellite broadcaster, ASTRO to provide our games for their interactive TV services. We have successfully launched 9 games and counting on their @15 channel since October 2008. We notice a rapid evolution in how people want to interact with their content with a greater demand for social interaction with the content that they consume. This is reflected clearly in how the current generation of gamers play their games nowadays. We believe that the buyer’s budget for entertainment will in fact increase and not be affected by the downturn. We see acquisition strategies and priorities will focus more towards co-production as the cost of producing content and commercializing them will need to be controlled in light of the recession. The attractiveness of co-production deals lies mainly in keeping the cost of production low whilst still being able to improve and push quality content to the market.