Patrick Jucaud founded Discop and the Budapest version of the market has now been running for twenty years. In recent years Discop markets have also launched in Turkey and Africa. Speaking ahead of the Budapest edition of the event, Jucaud said that the way the market has evolved is a reflection of how the TV markets of Central and Eastern Europe have developed.
“What is interesting about this year and the last two or three years is that we feel the Central and Eastern European territories have really become mature markets. We now see clients from the CEE countries coming not only to buy, but also to sell as they now produce their own content. There’s been a really strong development in terms of the level of intra-regional business. More companies are coming to sell to others prospects in their own region.”
Discop East and the other iterations of Discop are smaller than the twice-yearly gatherings at MIP TV and MIPCOM and the Miami-based, Latin-focused NATPE show and Discop markets itself differently accordingly.
“We promote ourselves as facilitators of regional business,” Jucaud says. “We have a different approach to MIP, we’re about really helping our clients to arrange meetings and we have a tailored approach adapted to a regional market.”
Unlike a MIPCOM or Natpe, Discop also veers away from a packed conference schedule. “We are a sales-centric market and our clients come to sell, that is the most important element for them. We measure value for clients in terms of the number of meetings they can have.”
Discop East, however, remains a challenging proposition for organisers. Many broadcasters in the CEE region were, after a period of remarkable growth, hit extremely hard by the global economic downturn and accompanying adverting recession.
Jucaud says: “The recession is over, but some of the effects are being felt; there are fewer TV stations being created. However, the markets are still much smaller than those in western Europe so there is still a lot of room for growth.”