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Indian broadcasters earmark 1- 3 Dec for Asia TV Forum

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MUMBAI: The Asia Television Forum (ATF) and Asia Film Market and Conferences (AFMC), which is scheduled to be held from 1 - 3 December 2004 at the Shangri-La Hotel in Singapore, looks set to soar with a host of leading media companies participating in the event for the first time. These companies include Buena Vista International Television, CBS/ Paramount International Television, Lions Gate Entertainment, NBC Universal and Sony Pictures.

On the other hand, the elite list of India buyers includes: Cidalc International, Dish TV, ETV Network, In2 Infotainment, Innovision Communications Pvt Ltd, Jakarb Telefilms, Jaya TV, Om Shanti Channel (Pvt) LTD, Sahara India Mass Communication Limited, SET India Pvt LTD, Shringar Films, Star Entertainments, Sun TV Private LTD, and Zee Telefilms Ltd.

Sellers at the market have flocked from countries like Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Denmark, France, Germany, Hong Kong SAR, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Monaco, The Netherlands, Philippines, Portugal, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom and USA.

The participation of these industry heavyweights has spurred fresh interest in the annual event. Indeed, aside from the heightened excitement and buzz, the presence of these major media houses affirms the dominant position of ATF|AFMC as Asia's preeminent media marketplace.

The spokesperson from Buena Vista International Television Asia Pacific, the distribution arm of Walt Disney Television International Asia Pacific, commented, "We are excited about participating at the ATF for the first time. We recognise that ATF is a market that has continued to grow from strength to strength in regional and international standing. We are committed to providing the best content and service to our Asian clients and the unique value proposition offered by ATF enables us to accomplish both."

ATF|AFMC has benefited from the relentless growth of burgeoning Asian economies like China and India, as well as renewed interest in rich, diverse and creative content by the East. Many industry bigwigs have strongly echoed great confidence in Asia's recovering growth potential.

A recent report by PricewaterhouseCoopers (Global Entertainment and Media Outlook: 2004 - 2008) projected that "spending in Asia/Pacific (to acquire media content) will increase from $13.3 billion to $17.3 billion in the five-year period, growing at a 5.4 percent compound annual rate." This is a sentiment shared by many sellers and new participants at ATF|AFMC. Not only are there more buyers registered for this year's event, ATF|AFMC continues to attract the top buyers from more than 11 key Asian markets including China and India.

CABLEready, USA director of programme marketing Sabrina Sanchez, who is a first-time participant at ATF observed, "Asia and Pacific Rim are regions where programme sales have flourished in recent years. ATF makes doing business with Asian television companies convenient by bringing together people from the entire region to one place."

"We believe that Asia has been under-served and that the region has great potential," added BKN New Media managing director Ben Heng, who was also participating in ATF|AFMC for the first time.

ATF|AFMC is the key business platform where international programme sellers converge to network and do business with Asian buyers and partners. The 2004 edition will feature a special showcase on Animation, iTV and locations with a comprehensive line up of conferences delivered by key professionals in the media business, including a new conference on media financing. The new highlights and features at ATF|AFMC, reflecting the current and latest trends in the media industry, have to date brought about a 30 per cent increase in new participants. Some of the country pavilions present at the event include Australia, Canada, China, France, Spain and Singapore.

"We have expanded the scope of this year's event to broaden and deepen the content offered. In addition to buying, selling and distribution activities at the marketplace, Reed Exhibitions has launched the Media Financing Forum, which explores financing and co-production issues, in order to provide a matchmaking platform for independent production companies to meet potential investors. We are encouraged to learn that the industry has responded very positively to the expanded event profile. It is also heartening that the strong industry support and presence of major companies reflect well on our decision to relocate the event to a more accessible venue in response to customers feedback. We are confident that this year's event will surpass previous presentations in terms of the value of transactions made as well as CO-production opportunities explored," said Reed Exhibitions Singapore vice president Michelle Lim.

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