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Shanghai TV Festival short on sales

European, U.S. buyers stay away

SHANGHAI — Local TV dramas continued to be the mainstay of the Shanghai Television Festival market, despite organizers push to become more global.

Some 1,038 TV series were sold, down from 2006’s 1,149, though the total number of episodes sold rose 70% to 32,000.

Family dramas, love stories and modern comedies were this year’s top products, with historical dramas — once China’s most popular TV content — in eighth place.

With STVF aiming to increase its international appeal, officials will be pleased that almost 40% of stallholders were from outside mainland China.

However, just 1.2% of buyers were from Europe and the U.S. — a worrying figure, given the large number of local stallholders looking to sell to overseas.

With sales totals still not in for the three-day mart, which wrapped June 14, it’s hard to gauge whether volume is up on 2006.

But fest directors report significant increases in sales of new media (IPTV, mobile phone TV and digital TV) programming reported at around 20.5 million yuan ($2.7 million).

Of those who attended, optimism about the Chinese TV market has dropped from 62.8% to 58.3% since 2006. Optimism about the future of new media tells the opposite story, with digital TV and Internet TV in particular hitting figures well over 80%.

Meanwhile, the fest’s top Magnolia TV film award went to German World War Two drama “March of Millions.”

The Grand Prix for documentary went to “Circus School,” produced by local media giant, the Shanghai Media Group.

Nominees for the 18 awards included close to 70 films.

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