After celebrating hitting the half-century mark with its annual convention in Miami, the trade association is on the right track in reviving itself from the low point in its fortunes in 2001. NATPE is an important, if not vital, date on the broadcasting calendar. It’s the place where syndicators and their broadcasters get face time and finish up the important deals. Maybe it was the fine weather or that ocean breeze, but no broadcasters or syndicator I spoke with had a negative thing to say about NATPE this year aside from mild logistical gripes. You got the clear impression they would all be back next year and for as long as they had programming to buy or sell. Happy birthday indeed.
Attendance looks to be up once again. CEO Rod Perth praised keynoter Mark Cuban (“Now, he’s all about TV. He used to be about the Internet.”) The conference was lively and there were clearly buyers buying content and sellers selling content. Among the announcements were a summer test of a Kris Jenner talk show and strong clearances for Arsenio Hall and The Test.
The DNA- and lie detector-test results syndicated show will be hosted by standup comedian Kirk Fox. It’s being sold on a cash-plus-barter basis (10.5 local minutes, 4.5 national minutes).
A NATPE panel says the ad outlook for this year is strong, even without last year’s political spending. When asked about the seemingly slow pace of development of mobile TV, Brian Lawlor of Scripps, said: “This is a massive undertaking for content providers, technology, cell carriers, manufacturers and broadcasters. The better news is that we have 70-something markets lit up, with devices on the market.” Concerns include Aereo and The Hopper, while the panelists emphasized their intentions to keep all their spectrum to continue to innovate and serve their communities.
The AXS TV owner kicks off the NATPE conference. He says: “The reality is that when you are watching TV, it’s a unique experience that you cannot get online. Television has become the medium to start a social conversation. I believe social interaction around TV will get much bigger.”
The trade group says its 50th anniversary conference this month shows a strong station resurgence, with overall attendee registration up and all major domestic distributors attending.
CEO Rod Perth reports Strong Interest from exhibitors and “buyers,” while overall attendance is on pace with last year’s 5,100 for the 50th annual converence next month in Miami.
The group’s 50th anniversary conference lineup includes speakers from Yahoo!, Google/YouTube, Nielsen, Studio Lambert, Maker Studios, Showtime, Fox, Sony, Univision among others.
The association’s new president, Rod Perth, says registration is pacing ahead of the last show with all the major distributors on board and a number of speakers signed up. However, he would not give any specifics, saying those details will be forthcoming in October or November.
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.