Prague like Cannes

(Article in Týden, news magazine published once a week)

The Czech Republic is going to become a center of world television production in June. NATPE Europe is taking place here for the first time. It is going to introduce main American studios and many others.  (Translation below article.)

The biggest hits of current American production and other successful formats of producers from the whole world are going to be shown at the NATPE Europe expo. Companies from more than thirty countries signed up for NATPE Europe last week. We can expect that besides from reality show Survival Live by Discovery Channel, there will appear one of the most popular music reality shows called Rising Star that is broadcasted in Israel. Spectators decide about progress of competitors in Rising Star through a special mobile application in real time.

Representatives of Dutch group Endemol (authors of formats like Big Brother, Fear Factor or The Voice) will probably present their successful reality show Utopia, where competitors attempt to survive for a whole year on an isolated place in the wild.

“We can expect that companies will be trying to sell trivia shows that are in our region very popular,” said media analyst Milan Kruml. “Scripted reality shows are very successful all around the world right now, popular are also docusoaps about different professions, e. g. about fishermen in Alaska or gold miners, etc.”

Everybody will attend

Organizers of the expo say that Prague is becoming a significant place for TV producers and it is also thanks to NATPE Europe. “We are excited about the advantages of our new location. Prague will enable us to do both screenings and all the additional events,” appreciates Rod Perth, director of the expo and president of NATPE.

All the important TV channels from the Czech market are going to attend the expo. “Czech television is going to attend the presentations in order to find out about the development of American production. We will be interested in the newest trends – from documents through opera or ballet to TV series and film production. Connection of television and internet or new technological trends like super HD are also going to be important topics for us,” said program director of Czech television Milan Fridrich.

Channels like Nova, Prima or TV Barrandov are also going to send their representatives to the expo. “TV Barrandov is going to have its own stall at the expo. It is the first time we have decided to present ourselves in this way,” said program director of TV Barrandov Markéta Daems and she added “we are curious about which new trends are distributors going to present. We will be looking for interesting TV series and movies for this fall and spring 2015.” TV channel Nova will be looking for new programs too. “We will be looking for new formats that are interesting for Czech spectators – both for direct broadcasting and also for an adaption into local format,” said spokesperson of Nova Anna Suchá.

Interactive show

NATPE is in the structure of offered programs similar to TV expo MIPTV that took place this April in Cannes. Specialists say that presented trends and new formats at NATPE Europe are going to be similar to the ones shown at MIPTV.

You could notice in Cannes that producers use more interactive elements, so that they can involve spectators in the story. “Today´s reality shows are shifting more and more towards fiction. Spectators want to influence what they watch and create a show according to their imagination,” said Oliver Delfosse, vice president of FremantleMedia that is one of the world biggest creators and producers of TV content.

One of the latest shows is French No Return. Diverse pairs (e.g. athlete and PC maniac) have to survive on an abandoned island or in the jungle. Spectators can vote about which tools can filming crew offer to the competitors. Above mentioned Survival Live uses similar principle, where competitors ask spectators for water and clothes directly from the desert. Spectators can decide which competitor they will help.   

From Budapest to Prague

NATPE Europe took place in Budapest before. This year it is taking place in Prague Hilton hotel from June 23rd to June 26th. Around 125 presenting distributors and more than 300 TV channels (HBO, MTM, CET, Chello, RTL or Viasat among others) took part in the previous years of the expo. The event should show TV companies in Central and Eastern Europe the latest production of American and other studios. NATPE was founded in 1964. It also arranges American version of the event every year in Miami.