ITV Studios has become the latest player to decide against participating in the physical Mipcom market in October, opting instead to launch its own sales event.

Other distributors to have pulled out of physically attending the Cannes TV market include BBC Studios and Fremantle, who have also opted for a digital presence as fears of a second wave of coronavirus haunt the continent.

“Although we will not have a physical presence at Mipcom this year, we look forward to showcasing our incredible slate through an enhanced digital experience,” a Fremantle spokesperson told Variety.

A BBC Studios spokesperson told Variety, “In order to give certainty to customers and colleagues, we have now confirmed that while BBC Studios will not have a physical presence at Mipcom 2020, we will be fully supporting the event through digital delivery. We will share further details of our slate and activity in the weeks ahead. We look forward to returning to Mipcom in 2021.”

ITV Studios, Fremantle and BBC Studios traditionally occupy some of the largest real estate at Mipcom. Fremantle has a beachside stand, while ITV Studios’ container-built hub outside the Palais has become a market mainstay. BBC Studios last year also developed and constructed a major beachside stand that they hoped to deploy for future markets.

Banijay Group, newly combined with Endemol Shine Group, remains undecided about the October market, which would have been the company’s first proper outing at full strength following the close of the acquisition. Meanwhile, it’s still unclear what All3Media has in mind for the market. Variety has reached out for comment but did not hear back by press time.

In lieu of attending Mipcom, ITV Studios revealed Tuesday that it is launching a fall sales event in September. The inaugural ITV Studios Fall Festival will provide a dedicated space for buyers to connect with the ITV Studios sales teams, including its global distribution and global entertainment divisions, as well as Armoza Formats. The event will take place both face-to-face and as virtual content and production sessions for buyers, held over three weeks from Sept. 14.

“The ITV Studios Fall Festival will be an unmissable event for our buyers, from enhanced one-to-one meetings to fully produced content sessions,” said Ruth Berry, managing director of global distribution and Maarten Meijs, president of global entertainment at ITV Studios.

“It will be a fitting extension to our must-attend Spring Drama and Formats Festivals as well as the non-scripted, carbon-neutral Factual Screenings launched earlier this year. We promise to deliver it all in the inimitable style our clients are accustomed to, a valuable experience for them as they look to plan their schedules for 2021 and beyond.”

The festival’s lineup includes a discussion with Windfall Films CEO Carlo Massarella, who will discuss upcoming projects and past successes like “Ancient Cathedral Rescue: Inside the Race to Save Notre Dame” and “Waterfront House Masters.” World Productions’ CEO will discuss upcoming projects including “Pembrokshire Murders,” “Vigil” and the much anticipated sixth season of “Line of Duty.” There will also be an interactive session on gameshows.

All sessions will be available on a dedicated catch-up area on itvstudios.com.

Mipcom organizer Reed Midem said earlier this month that the market plans to go ahead, albeit with safeguards in place. Speaking on the Tellycast podcast, Laurine Garaude, head of television for Mipcom, said conference rooms will be limited to 50% capacity and cleaned and sterilized for 45 minutes between presentations. Facemasks will also be mandatory and face-to-face meetings will be redesigned to allow for one-meter social distancing.

Garaude also said there won’t be any major social events, but the org is investigating ways of holding outdoor parties. “There is a need to meet in person and we have a duty to enable that in the safest way,” Garaude said. “That’s what we are focused on right now. Creating a new normal.”

Manori Ravindran contributed to this report.