NEM Dubrovnik 2023, Day 2: record number of decision makers on stage

NEM Dubrovnik 2023, Day 2: record number of decision makers on stage
More than a thousand participants, including speakers, sponsors, buyers, media representatives and other attendees, continued to educate themselves and connect during the second day of NEM Dubrovnik 2023. Among networking events and panels, attendees welcomed valuable insights from representatives of leading companies that create the landscape of the TV industry, not only in CEE but also worldwide.

A special part of the second day’s program was dedicated to innovative tech companies that develop solutions enhancing the TV industry. Stars of the TV Tech Showcase were Comcast Technology Solutions, Broadpeak, Gcore and Sandbox Group. After their presentations, all four companies joined the panel hosted by Anette Schaefer, Big Picture.

Throughout the day, as many as seven keynote interviews were held at NEM Dubrovnik’s packed Panel Room. Victoriya Boklag, CEO, United Group and Sanja Božić-Ljubičić CEO of Pickbox, Mediatranslations, Mediavision and NEM held a powerful conversation about United Group’s leading position in the CEE region: “When we talk about the future of media in general, I think it's one of the most transformative industries. We have a lot of global players, and the competition is good – they are coming to our markets directly fighting for eyeballs. Our big advantage is local media and local content from the region.”

As for new projects, Ms. Boklag is proud of several upcoming projects: “We are looking forward to the start of the Pink Panther series production. It will be the first project which will be co- produced by several countries, and probably also by some international partners. Also, we were the first one to produce a talent show online, The Digital Show. We will try to bring it on TV, it was a big success produced in Serbia – we will create a link between digital content and TV content. We are also participating in the project funded by the European Union to experiment with the production of content for Gen Z.”

Vanda Rapti, EVP & Chief Commercial Officer for North America and Viaplay Select, Viaplay Group talked to Danna Stern about Viaplay’s future ventures: “I am truly excited about helping partners around the world grow their own service, and about seeing the success and upsides Viaplay Select brings to business. We are indeed looking forward to launching in new territories with more partners. Also, I’m super excited for the amazing content pipeline that is coming both for Viaplay under our direction to consumer markets and for our Viaplay Select partners around the world.”

Jamie Cooke, GM CEE, Baltics, Middle East, Mediterranean, Turkey and EMEA Pay TV and Creative Agency, Warner Bros. Discovery talked about locally relevant content: “I’m a great believer in the markets moving together with our clients. I feel like the local players have the local covered and we have the global content covered but there is a sweet spot in the middle which is where we are heading from a content strategy point in my markets – locally relevant content that can travel.”

Mr. Cooke also touched on linear channels: “In this part of the world, the linear is not dead. In fact, we see growth in pay TV and I also think that consumers are incredibly price sensitive. There may be a space for three or four services of the best kind. The question I have is about where do linear channels feature in a streaming environment. It’s a question for the whole industry - where do the consumers want to see linear channels and how are we giving them access to.”

Mark Young, EVP Distribution and Networks, Europe, Middle East and Africa, Sony Pictures Television talked about the strategy to create quality TV content: ”Great stories can come from everywhere, so we really expanded our production capabilities around the world. We want to understand the local nuances and tastes of local audiences. Also, co-production is interesting to us. We are working with streamers on a global level but also with local partners in each territory.”

As for the gaming industry merging with TV industry, Mr. Young said that content still needs to be brilliant: “As much as we’ve got a built-in audience from PlayStation gamers, if you know the IP and you aren’t a gamer, the IP needs to stand on its own and it needs to be brilliant television. He also added that TV markets like NEM Dubrovnik are important for everybody to connect: “People are excited to see each other and work together.”

Keynote speakers who also gave insightful Q&A interviews were Dimitris Michalakis, Executive Director Cosmote TV and Member of the OTE Group Management Board, Louise Pedersen, CEO, All3Media International, and Maria Valenzuela, General Manager, Movistar Plus+ International Division.

Lionsgate attracted special attention by showcasing their new content and Eutelsat shared its expertise during the presentation Broadcasting in a Changing Market Environment.

The highly anticipated panel What Makes Content Buyers Tick and How Do They Find That Perfect Fit? was sponsored by Prva TV. Experienced buyers from Czech Television, Prva TV and B92, TVP, Croatian Radiotelevision (HRT) and ducktv gave their insights while the discussion was led by the moderator Jonathan Broughton, EBU.

Another panel that raised attention was Europe and Broadcasters: Challenges and Opportunities sponsored by ACT with Grégoire Polad as a host. Panelists who explored the role that the legislator and regulator can have, notably at European level, to bolster the media economy, were Polsat Media Biuro, NOS and RTL Croatia.

Throughout the day there were numerous networking opportunities like coffee breaks, lunch and finally Paramount Global Content Distribution Happy Hour on the breath-taking terrace overlooking the pool and the sea.

NEM Dubrovnik’s jubilee edition was then celebrated in the evening, during NEM Night at Lenga Terrace - after NEM Night Opening sponsored by TVP World, Pickbox NOW and Pickbox TV continued to raise the atmosphere with a live band. Everything culminated around midnight with NEM Night Birthday Celebration sponsored by Mediavision.