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NATPE Miami is set to return with an early 2024 event after the assets of The National Association of Television Program Executives, or NATPE, were acquired by Brunico Communications, the Toronto-based operator of the Banff World Media Festival.
The winning bid from the Canadian company followed NAPTE filing for bankruptcy protection in Oct. 2022 after running into a financial wall due to the forced cancellations of the 2021 and 2022 U.S. TV markets amid the pandemic. Terms of the acquisition deal with Brunico were not disclosed, but it’s understood the Canadian company put forth an initial $150,000 stalking horse bid for the NATPE assets, which included taking on outstanding debt.
A U.S. bankruptcy court has approved the acquisition by Brunico of NATPE Global, NATPE Budapest, NATPE Streaming+, and the Brandon Tartikoff Legacy Awards, with the transaction expected to close before the end of January. Brunico plans a return of NATPE Budapest, the organization’s European marketplace, from June 26 to 28, 2023 at the Intercontinental Hotel.
That will be followed by NAPTE Global, the flagship U.S. TV market, returning in early 2024 just as the TV industry has been upended by the proliferation of streaming platforms and accelerating cord-cutting. That disruption is expected to unleash another round of industry consolidation as streaming subscriber revenues fail to offset linear TV losses.
NAPTE traditionally secured key revenues from its annual conferences and marketplaces. NAPTE Global has traditionally been held in Miami, and was scheduled to take place in the Bahamas this month, before that event was cancelled amid the trade group’s bankruptcy filing.
In a statement, Brunico, after prevailing in a formal Dec. 14 court-directed auction of the bankrupt NATPE assets, said it “plans to invest significant resources in building the NATPE brand, in particular NATPE Global, which is the premier U.S.-based content marketplace.”
Besides picking up the operating rights to the Banff World Media Festival in 2016, Brunico also operates the Realscreen Summit and Kidscreen Summit conferences and has long experience operating markets and conferences in the U.S. and elsewhere outside of Canada.
“The international content community has been waiting patiently for the return of NATPE, and we are very excited to welcome back our new clients and delegates. Brunico will be reaching out to all NATPE partners in short order to discuss the transition and our plans for the future,” Brunico president and CEO Russell Goldstein added in his own statement.
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