With a high-profile talk show to sell (Queen Latifah), Sony Pictures Television is figuring that it’s time to return to the NATPE conference. Sony dropped out of the show prior to the 2008 gathering in Las Vegas. This year’s show is slated for Jan. 28-30 in Miami.
After five years with no official presence at NATPE, Sony Pictures Television will return to the annual syndicated TV conference in Miami Beach, Fla. in January, according to people familiar with Sony’s plans.
Sony has good reason to have a prominent presence at NATPE, still a thriving marketplace for broadcast syndication. It is developing the talk show Queen Latifah for broadcast syndication for fall 2013 and is looking for stations to carry the show.
Neither NATPE nor Sony would comment.
Sony dropped out in 2008, declining to exhibit or host on-site suites and pay NATPE for the privilege. Sony said it would sell its programming in other ways and at other venues, including the Consumer Electronics Show, which at the time was making a play to be a programming showcase.
However, Sony always had an unofficial presence at NATPE, sending executives to meet with clients during the show, sometimes to the dismay of NATPE organizers.
Over the years, NATPE’s attendance had dwindled from more than 10,000 people in its heyday to just a few thousand attendees.
Last year, its second in Miami after years in Las Vegas, attendance perked up, with more than 5,000 attendees.
The next NATPE conference (Jan. 28-30, 2013, also in Miami) will be the group’s 50th annual convention and the first with Rod Perth running the show. In May, Perth joined NATPE as president and CEO from RHP Media Consulting. He replaced Rick Feldman.