The MIP-TV market (Apr 14-18) drew to an effective close yesterday as buyers scurried out of town and deal announcements dwindled from a trickle to something closer to a drip feed. But most participants gave the impression of having had a more useful market than they had envisaged.

Statistics from MIP-TV organiser Midem showed fewer sellers than last time, more buyers and a greater number of participating countries.

Exhibitors dropped from 481 last year to 450; exhibiting companies slipped from 1,228 to 1,209 and total participant numbers were down from 10,878 to 10,1104. Midem managing director, TV, Michael Weatherseed, said that the drop was attributed to a continuing reduction in new-media companies and decisions by some of the smallest independents to attend, but not exhibit.

Programme buyers climbed sharply from 2,154 last year to 2,594 and the number of broadcasters they represented went up from 852 to 1,050.

There was a large growth in Asian attendance - something made doubly noticeable after the stayaway impact of Sept 11 on the autumn's MIP-COM market. Japanese exhibitors climbed from 37 to 45, while Korean exhibitor numbers went from 13 to 33.

Formats and documentaries were once again the most-discussed programming strands. Many formats become wierder as they sought to differentiate themselves in this thinly policed domain. Others became less aggressive and confrontational, reflecting a changed post-September 11 atmosphere. And the events of September 11 became a favourite topic, pushing the current affairs sub-strand to the front of the documentary genre.

One of the biggest long-format drama deals belonged to the UK's Granada, which sold 13 TV movies in a first-time Italian deal to Mediaset. The titles based on the Hercule Poirot stories will be screened on Rete 4 in primetime. "We are looking forward to this being the beginning of a new partnership, that will also span co-productions," said Granada's marketing manager Sally Cozens.