Rose d’Or shifting to not-for-profit model

The organisers of the Rose d’Or TV festival are shifting it from a commercial enterprise to a not-for-profit event, supported by broadcasters and regional authorities.

The festival is one of the oldest in the TV calendar and will celebrate its fiftieth anniversary next year, by which time it will have shifted to become a not-for-profit organisation, festival director Urban Frye told TBIvision.

Following financial problems, the Rode d’Or trade mark and festival was taken on by events company Freddy Burger Management in 2006. The not for profit model will see FBM remain a stakeholder alongside Swiss public broadcaster SRG, the Swiss government and the City of Lucerne. The 2009 festival has a budget of SFR2 million (US$1.75 million).

“We’re in discussion with the canton of Lucerne and Swiss TV to create a not-for-profit festival,” Frye says. Frye maintains that the festival remains relevant to today’s TV business. “MIP and Natpe are big marketplaces and everyone is there just to buy or sell – they are so busy that they don’t have the chance to discuss the future of TV. We provide an opportunity for the decision makers to get together and discuss what’s going on,” he says.

He concedes that attracting delegates is tough in the current environment. “It’s a very hard time for the industry and for us too. But we have a record number of programs in the competition, there’re 429, which is a 5% increase on last year. Now we’re working on delegates and hope to get the same number as last year.”

Delegate numbers for the event, which runs from May 2-5, are tracking at about 20% lower than last year when 500 people attended.