Fremantle Joins BBC Studios In Pulling Out Of Physical Mipcom Market Amid Coronavirus Fears

EXCLUSIVE: Fremantle has joined BBC Studios in abandoning its physical presence at the Mipcom TV market in Cannes later this year, as it seeks to protect staff amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The production studio behind Got Talent and The Young Pope will not exhibit at the event, which organizer Reed Midem remains committed to staging on 12-15 October on the French Riviera.

A Fremantle spokeswoman told Deadline: “Although we will not have a physical presence at Mipcom this year, we look forward to showcasing our incredible slate through an enhanced digital experience.”

Fremantle made the decision to pull out late last week, and in doing so, it follows BBC Studios, which is understood to have decided earlier this month to not take up residence at its bespoke aluminum stand at Mipcom.

A BBC Studios spokesman said: “In order to give certainty to customers and colleagues, we have now confirmed that while BBC Studios will not have a physical presence at Mipcom 2020, we will be fully supporting the event through digital delivery. We will share further details of our slate and activity in the weeks ahead. We look forward to returning to Mipcom in 2021.”

Deadline understands that other major studios are currently weighing up their attendance, with a number not yet committed to the event. ITV Studios, Banijay and All3Media International are among those in the balance.

Reed Midem has outlined a number of safety changes it is making to the physical market to help reassure exhibitors about their attendance. Speaking to the TellyCast podcast this month, Reed Midem’s Laurine Garaude admitted that Mipcom “will be different” and is set to become a “hybrid” event, mixing both an online platform, dubbed Mipcom Online+, with the physical market.

Among other protocols, masks will be mandatory on the Palais, a one-meter social distancing rule will be enforced rigorously, traffic flow will be regulated, conference sessions will operate at 50% capacity, and there will be no parties. Reed Midem was forced to cancel Mipcom’s sister event, Mip TV, in March as the pandemic swept through Europe.

Addressing BBC Studios specifically, a spokesman said: “BBC Studios will be partnering with Mipcom 2020 via the new digital Mipcom Online+ that will extend the reach of the market to audiences around the globe in 2020. We look forward to sharing more details of the partnership in due course and to welcoming BBC Studios back to Cannes next year.”

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