What’s next for London TV Screenings?

Odeon Leicester Square (Source: TBI)

As buyers enter the final furlong at London TV Screenings, TBI reflects on a busy week across the UK capital and asks what’s next for the mushrooming sales event.

With Fremantle taking to the stage under the bright lights of Odeon Luxe in Leicester Square this morning, another London TV Screenings is almost wrapped.

Fremantle’s event is, in many ways, a fitting example of what this week has become about: distributors both large and small cooperating on timings to put on events that reflect their brands and marketing budgets.

ITV Studios and All3Media International also chose the prime Leicester Square real estate as its Screenings location earlier in the week, while Banijay was at the salubrious climes of Bafta.

London TV Screenings 2024 locations

Ham Yard Hotel also enjoyed brisk business – attracting the likes of Fox, StudioCanal and Sony Pictures Television to its upmarket premises – while Disney and Off The Fence plumped for the Curzon, with Keshet Int’l and Newen Connect enticing buyers into the Soho Hotel.

Not a bad range of venues for even the weariest of buyers, by all accounts.

TBI has also spoken to a raft of distributors and most deemed it another successful week, with the largest – and some of the smallest – pointing to the fact that despite the exponential growth of the event over recent years, it still offers sufficient opportunity to engage with buyers.

Perhaps as importantly in the current market, it also remains a cost-efficient option, with companies retaining complete control over which locations they want to plump for and how they want to balance sales chatter versus screenings.

Yet the rumours that have been swirling for years around a new destination for MIPTV now suggest that London could be on the cards.

MIPTV 2023

Just how such an event would work remains to be seen but clearly the growth of London TV Screenings and the sheer heft of buyers in one place means it would be remiss of RX France not to explore the possibility.

It is easy to forget that the first formally branded and co-ordinated London TV Screenings only took place in 2022 (after 2021’s online version), following years of distributors holding smaller events as they grabbed buyers headed to BBC Studios Showcase.

Since then, largely as a cooperative venture led by ITVS, All3Media International, Fremantle and Banijay, it has surged in popularity with in excess of 500 buyers in 2023.

Buyers at this year’s London TV Screenings – most of whom still head to BBCS’s Showcase, this year taking place at 180 Studios on The Strand – are estimated to be in the upper hundreds, with delegates hailing from across the world.

Around 15 buyers have come from Australia alone, TBI understands, and numerous acquisition execs we spoke to suggested that London TV Screenings in its current guise – including the variety of locations chosen by distributors – is seen largely as a positive, despite the London drizzle dashing hopes of pleasant strolls between venues.

Gauging interest in a London-based MIPTV seems to be an ongoing process – although there were few hands raised in favour when one distributor posited the idea at a cocktail event this week.

Ultimately, it will come down to what having a single entity running the week can add to proceedings.

Certainly, a London-based MIPTV (or a Barcelona-based event, another rumour that re-emerged from a couple of execs this week) would likely breath new life into RX’s brand. Answers to what everyone else might get out of it haven’t been immediately forthcoming.

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