The first competitive international song contest for a television audience in Asia since the 1990s will take place in 2017.
The Asia Pacific Broadcasting Union confirmed that the ABU TV Cup Song Contest will be held for the first time at the beginning of 2017. The proposal was first revealed over the summer when it was revealed that Hunan Television of China had proposed the event to the ABU. The ABU confirmed that more discussions regarding how the contest will take place will take place during 2016.
The ABU currently holds both the ABU TV Song Festival and the ABU Radio Song Festival which have been held since 2012, both events are currently gala events and see on average 12-15 countries taking part in the events annually. This years ABU TV Song Festival in Istanbul, Turkey takes place on Wednesday and will see participants from countries such as Afghanistan, Indonesia and South Korea taking part.
International song contests in Asia have had a troubled recent past. The last time that a competitive international song contest was proposed was in 2009/2010 when “Our Sound: The Asia Pacific Song Contest” due to bring a total of 14 countries together for a two night competition, it eventually failed due to issues between the organisers and the EBU who had licensed the Asian production of a Eurovision Song Contest event. The last successful Asian TV Song Contest was last held in the 1991 when the final ABU Golden Kite World Song Festival took place in Malaysia, a total of 17 countries competed including Jordan, Pakistan and Brunei.
Based upon the current membership of the ABU in which a country has a television broadcaster that is either a full member of the broadcasting union, the following countries are eligible to participate:
- Hong Kong
- New Zealand
- Norfolk Island
- North Korea
- Papua New Guinea
- Saudi Arabia
- Solomon Islands
- South Korea
- Sri Lanka