IBC2003 attendance, activity signal rebound in broadcast business

There appears to be growing optimism that the downturn plaguing the broadcast industry may finally be at an end and a resurgence of business activity ahead if the mood of IBC2003 attendees and exhibitors is any indication.

Visitors from 120 countries attended this year’s International Broadcast Conference in Amsterdam. This year’s attendance jumped six percent from 2002 levels, reaching 36,395 in total, of which 25,175 were visitors (not exhibitors).

"There have been signs of an upturn in the market for a while,” said IBC President John Wilson at the show. "Recent forecasts, including a predicted growth in global ad revenues for the coming year, have helped to boost confidence, but it is when we all come together at IBC that we can really measure the true temperature of the industry.”

On the show floor, exhibitors expressed their analysis of the business situation, foreseeing brighter times to come. According to Sony Business Europe President Miles Flint in an interview with IBC Television News, the dark clouds are lifting.

“We see serious customers coming back looking at projects,” he said. “They clearly are going to invest in coming six to 12 month period. And I think we see quite a major upturn from the past two years.

“I think it is enormously encouraging. I really do think that the whole industry has been through a difficult period, and I think that we are seeing signs of real interest and real commitment and real engagement by customers.”

Part of the impetus for the rebound appeared to be the unfolding saga of conversion from linear tape-based methods of production, post and broadcast to an I.T. world where video clips are data files that can be accessed for editing, archive and playout.

Roderick Snell, a founder of Snell and Wilcox, told IBC Television News that the I.T. revolution is now a reality in the broadcast and post arena. “I think the industrial revolution we have talked about for five or six years,” he said in the interview, “is now in the minds of the industry, not just the seers and prophets and the futurologists. It’s here now, and they are doing it.”

For more information visit www.ibc.org.

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