Asian webs seek more regional content

Asian TV Forum attracts 3,500 participants

SINGAPORE — Buyers at the Asian Television Forum in Singapore, which runs Dec. 7-9, are focusing their search for new formats and regional programming to meet increased demand for quality content.

More and more of Asia’s TV viewers are getting their content on their cell phones and online, and new technology has been a major talking point at the forum, especially with different Asian countries at such different stages in adapting new tech specs.

This year’s expanded ATF was held at the Marina Bay Sands Expo, attached to the casino that opened in Singapore a couple of years ago, and hosted more than 3,500 participants from 950 companies representing 53 countries.

The Media Development Authority hosts the event and the city-state’s shingles were a major presence, and the Singapore pavilion had 55 companies, as well as a Singapore Music Showcase.

As is customary at any biz gathering in any format in the region these days, the Chinese presence was significant.

“Almost all the Asian buyers come here, and ATF puts more focus on China, Japan, Korea and Malaysia, and promotes exchange between Asian countries. There are opportunities to find the right partners here,” said Zhu Danhong, project manager at Shanghai WingsMedia, a unit of Shanghai Media Group, at the large Chinese stand.

There were many deals inked at the fest, most of them small deals between different Asian countries. There is a sense that cooperation is growing between the various countries.

Among the deals announced at the ATF this year was a co-production deal with Singapore’s Scrawl Studios and French toon shingle Marathon Media to co-produce “Star Princess,” a 52-part animated series, in partnership with France Televisions and Disney France.

Singapore shingle Sparky also released visuals for “One Stormy Night,” a CG-animated series for rugrats that was co-produced with Japan’s Bandai Visual and Duckbill Entertainment, presented by the author of the best-selling toon, Yuichi Kimura. Skein will launch on major Japan networks in April 2012.

As well as the Chinese, other Asian nations are pushing their presence. Japan had a large stand, as does Korea and Thailand.

Malaysia was also strongly in evidence. Animasia presented “ABC Monsters,” which will air on Turner’s kids’ networks from January 2012, and aims to promote the learning of English among 4- to 6-year-olds. The project is being co-funded by Malaysia’s Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation’s E-Content Grant.

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