Ukraine reaches out to neighbors

By Cathy Meils at MIPCOM

    A 65% increase in ad revenues is fueling Ukrania's production and TV growth, a panel of industry leaders told MIPCOM attendees.

    With the 2008 ad market nearing $2 billion, and almost half a billion dollars going to TV advertising, Ukranian TV and production companies merged their resources to make a splash at the Cannes market. Sales agents and production companies heard good news as well: 25% of the line up on Ukraine TV stations is acquired foreigh programmes.

    A significant foreign-speaking population (Romanian, Polish, and Hungarian) is leading some stations into contracts with neighboring EU countries.

    Victor Mirsky, head of film and TV producer/distributor FILM.UA Group, Told FNE, "The is cooperation with Central and Eastern Europe. We are moving into negotiations starting with Romania production. The PRO Media Romanian format telenovella Tears of Love aired in many Central and East European states. We sold it in the Baltics, and are negotiating with Poland on the sale of a short TV series. We're now working with the Baltic states to sell programming on a regular basis."

    Vlad Ryashin, Chairman of the Board of Star Media Group, represents a collection of Ukrainian and RussianTV production and distribution companies. He told FNE that Star Media is negotiating contracts with Romania, Bulgaria and the Czech Republic. In Romania, Star Media sold two hour long series: 100 episodes of Hot Ice, and165 episodes of the telenovella City Romance. City Romance has also been sold to the Czech Republic, and will air on Barrandov Studio's new start up Barrandov TV, expected to launch at the start of 2009.

    Expect to see more two-way cooperation between the Ukraine and Europe. The panel reported that Polish, Turkish, and French companies are positioning to enter the country's cable market.