If You're in the Mood to Sell a Soap Opera, A Journey to Busan Next Week May Pay Off

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If You're in the Mood to Sell a Soap Opera, A Journey to Busan Next Week May Pay Off

Europe has one in Cannes. North America has one in Las Vegas. But Asia has lacked a big convention where media companies can buy and sell TV programs, movies and other entertainment content in one spot. Busan will try to deliver that service next week when it plays host to 120 international broadcasting companies from all over the world at the Busan Exhibition and Convention Center.

The Broadcast Worldwide 2001, co-organized by Broadcast Worldwide Net Co. Ltd, and the Korea Cable Television Association, will be held from Nov. 14 to 16.

The convention will be a venue providing visitors with an efficient overview of the broadcasting trends in many countries. Media companies will be marketing not only programs like soap operas, documentaries and cartoons but also movies and digital content in concert with broadcasting and distribution companies. Copyright deals related to programs will also take place.

Some 52 foreign companies will participate in the Busan show, including the BBC, NHK from Japan, CCTV from China and National Geographic and Discovery from the United States. Otherwise, the Busan market will be of special interest to 260 or so buyers focused on Asia, especially because Korean media contents are now flourishing in other Asian markets like China, and also because Korean satellite broadcasting targeting neighboring countries is scheduled to begin next year.

Aside from the exhibits, three seminars are scheduled, all of which will cover modern themes: "Asia's Next Step to Digital Media: What to Expect in Asia's Multichannel Environment in the Near and Distant Future;" "Maximizing Profits in Today's Digital Age;" and "Current Developments in Korea's Media Industry." High-level executives from media companies worldwide will participate in the forums.

The organizers say the convention will provide an efficient way for domestic broadcasters like KBS, MBC, SBS and Arirang TV to market their programs in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. Before the Broadcast Worldwide 2001, they point out, no such coordinated market existed in Korea to boost sales of local media contents. "This new media marketplace should be the one we all work together to develop so we can all take full advantage of the surging new business opportunities in Asia," said Song Byeong-Joon, the CEO of the Broadcasting Worldwide Co. Ltd.

Europe's big media convention, the International Film and Programme Market for Television, Video, Cable and Satellite, attracts about 1,000 participant companies every year to Cannes. It is generally considered the top program market in terms of scale. The No. 2 show is the National Association of Television Program Executives, which is held every year in Las Vegas. There are, in fact, small media conventions in Asia, including Hong Kong's Filmart, Shanghai's TV Festival and Singapore's MIPASIA.

The Busan organizers hope that their show will get a boost by being held during nearly the same time as the Busan International Film Festival, which runs from Friday to Nov. 17. For more information, visit the official Web site at www.bcww.net.

by Lee Sang-bok

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