The Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union has confirmed that for the first time since 1991 it will hold a song contest, the ABU TV Song Contest.

The ABU has since 2012 held the ABU TV Song Festival, a non-competitive showcase of talent from across the Asia-Pacific region. In the five years that it has been held a total of 22 countries have taken to the stage including Afghanistan, China, Macau and Australia. The event is currently the largest international music event organised by the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union.

Details about the ABU TV Song Contest have not been revealed as of yet, however it does appear to be the formal name for the “ABU TV Cup Song Contest” which was proposed last year by Hunan Television. The ABU confirmed in October of 2015 that they would be holding the first edition of the “ABU TV Cup Song Contest” in 2017.

The ABU has now agreed for one year to turn the ABU TV Song Festival into the ABU TV Song Contest. The ABU TV Song Contest is expected to take place at the earliest in 2017, due to the ABU TV Song Festival 2016 currently scheduled to be a non-competitive event held on October 24 in Bali, Indonesia. Following the first contest the ABU will then assess the project and then assess whether or not the song contest will be carried on. Based on the current rules for the ABU TV Song Festival, the contest would likely see between 12 and 15 countries compete in the first contest.

Eligible competing countries:

  • Afghanistan
  • Azerbaijan
  • Australia
  • Bangladesh
  • Bhutan
  • Brunei
  • Cambodia
  • China
  • Egypt
  • Fiji
  • Hong Kong
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Iran
  • Japan
  • Jordan
  • Kazakhstan
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Laos
  • Macau
  • Malaysia
  • Maldives
  • Mongolia
  • Myanmar
  • Nauru
  • Nepal
  • New Zealand
  • Pakistan
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Philippines
  • Qatar
  • Samoa
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Solomon Islands
  • South Korea
  • Singapore
  • Sri Lanka
  • Thailand
  • Timor Leste
  • Tonga
  • Turkey
  • Turkmenistan
  • Uzbekistan
  • Vanuatu
  • Vietnam

International song contests in Asia have had a troubled recent past. 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. The ABU TV Song Contest will likely compete with the Eurovision Song Contest spin-off that will be organised by Australia’s Special Broadcasting Service.

Watch the performance of Afghanistan at the ABU TV Song Festival 2015 below:

Source: ABU