Attendance was solid at this year's MIPCOM programmes market in Cannes, despite the current depression in the TV market which has put the squeeze on many players in the sector.

Michael Weatherseed, director of the television division at MIPCOM and MIP-TV organiser Reed Midem, was upbeat at a market press conference on Thursday, announcing that delegate numbers were up on last year and pointing to the fact that the number of deals being announced at the market were a sign of a gradual upswing.

"It's not that we're going back to boom times," said Weatherseed, "but we are coming up from the depression."

According to figures released by Reed Midem, the total number of participants at the market stood at 10,209, up 3.7% on last year. There was a total of 1,190 exhibiting companies, slightly down on 2001's 1,228 exhibitors. The number of programme buyers in Cannes was up 40% on last year at 2,712 from 2001's 1,935. However, the total number of distributors booking stands fell to 449 from 2001's 468.

"People have started to see a sign of recovery because they've come here to buy," Weatherseed said.

Asian attendence has continued to rise, with 469 buyers from the Asia Pacific region, up 54.7% on 2001. The market also saw new delegates from South America and South Africa and a rise in Canadian attendance.

Weatherseed also announced that prices for next year's MIPCOM and MIP-TV will remain frozen at 2002 levels.