The Asia TV Forum (ATF) opened its doors on December 4, 2019 — the same day that CBS re-merged with Viacom after a 14-year separation. The photo above, which depicts separate CBS and Viacom suites at the ATF, can now be captioned: “Separated at birth no more!”

One Turkish exhibitor (of the large Turkish contingent) pointed out to VideoAge that this edition saw more sellers than buyers. Officially, “there were 5,713 executives from 60 countries, 1,046 content buyers and 783 seller companies.” However, the ATF Guide listed 555 buyers from 311 companies.

A different impression was held by Chris Knight, president of Canada’s Gusto TV, who saw a “bigger market than last year.” In terms of territories, Knight saw an increased Japanese presence, as well as a good Korean contingent. Overall, he met with “a cross-section of Southeast buyers,” but noticed, as did other exhibitors VideoAge spoke with, a reduced presence from Vietnam, which played a larger part at past ATF editions.

What cannot be contested, though, was the large number of pavilions. There were a total of 17 from 12 countries, including the ever-present French pavilion, which consisted of 37 selling companies.

Listed in the ATF Guide there were 400 exhibiting companies (officially, the final number climbed to 783), including all the U.S. studios (except for NBCUniversal, which attended as a participant and did without its usual suite).

If fewer buyers attended the market, a good number of those buyers were seen at the Japanese pavilion. The large Japanese sales contingent (which consisted of 51 companies) kept busy serving sushi and sashimi on the market’s first day, and for lunch the next day, to a packed conference room where the country’s TV productions were highlighted.

The fact that the market celebrated its 20th year did not leave any lasting impression on the distributors VideoAge spoke with.  

The ATF was born in Singapore in the year 2000 as a hotel-based TV market, then held at the Shangri-La Hotel. In 2008, it moved to Suntec, a convention center. Three years later it moved to its current venue, the Sands Convention Center. In 2020, the ATF will take place December 1-4.

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