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Peter Hamilton Consultants, Inc

Sixty Years of MIP’s. Only Reiner Moritz attended every one

Reiner Moritz is the only delegate who has attended very MIPTV and MIPCOM market since its launch in Lyon in 1963.

He has been such a generous cheerleader for my various consulting and publishing activities — as he has for generations of buyers and sellers, particularly for specialists in the Arts and Music genres.

Here Reiner shares his brief history of how the leading international programming market happened.

Looking Back With Pleasure
by Reiner Moritz

Once upon a time, when black & white television was still in its infancy in Europe, I met a clever promoter and publisher by the name of Bernard Chevry.

He told me about his plans of bringing together broadcasters, producers and distributors in one place and organize a market, something like a MIP TV.

I thought this was a great idea, because building up the sales department for Leo Kirch’s Beta Film I had met with great reluctance by public service broadcasters to let me talk directly with their commissioning editors.

All you got was the Head of Acquisitions, and fledgling stations did not know much about their counterparts in other countries either.

I therefore wholeheartedly promised Bernard Chevry my support and dutifully turned up in 1963 at Lyon Trade Fair where Chevry had rented one of the big halls and installed 16mm screening booths.

VHS or DVD, let alone digital files, had not yet been invented. Every seller prayed that his clients would turn up on the time you had booked and most fortunately did, unlike today.

Champagne & Oysters

I met Ian Warren, Managing Director of Global Television, in Paris and together we travelled by train to Lyon. As Ian was representing ABC Australia and the New Zealand Broadcasting Corporation we were important clients and Jacques Terrand, the Head of Sales of ORTF, met us at the Lyon station with champagne and oysters. Needless to say that we retaliated a few days later with an invitation to La Pyramide at the close-by Vienne.

“No Future”

At the very end of this first MIP TV there was a pretty drunk farewell party during which the then Major of Lyon, Louis Pradel, nicknamed Zizi Beton because of his building activities, turned to me and said: “119 companies from 19 countries is a bit disappointing. I don´t think this new business of television has a great future”.

Pradel obviously did not want to renew the experience, and two years later MIP TV moved to Cannes which had shown, with the newly created Film Festival, that it could handle such an event.

Looking back I can say that 60 years of MIP TV have been great fun. It seems I am the only participant of all in-person markets who is still in business.

My advice to all of you is: do not only look at the bottom line, but also have some fun! I wish you many prosperous markets.