NATPE/Content First Exhibit Floor Space Already Sold Out

Anthony Bourdain CNN Headshot - P 2013
Courtesy of CNN

Anthony Bourdain CNN Headshot - P 2013

Registration for buyers, exhibitors and stations executives for the January event is ahead of last year; and for the first time there will be Reality Breakthrough Awards

NATPE/Content First president-CEO Rod Perth said Wednesday that registrations for exhibitors and buyers are "pacing very strongly" and the show exhibit floor space is already sold out for the event, which takes place in Miami Beach Jan. 20-22, 2015.

There are currently 230 exhibitors confirms, of which 107 are domestic and 123 are international sellers. Overall there are participants already from 62 countries, including 28 exhibitors participating for the first time.

Perth said suite space at the Fontainebleau Hotel is also going fast. One of the five towers is already sold out.

Perth said despite the difficult economic situation in Europe, there are new buyers coming from there representing some of the biggest TV companies in the Eurozone.

Perth also announced a new awards program called the Reality Breakthrough Awards, according to the announcement, "honoring those reality programs that 'broke through the clutter' in the preceding year and 'made some noise,' becoming part of the cultural conversation, and generally altering our perception of what's possible in the genre."

Nominees were announced in five categories: competition, docusoap, game show, reality and factual. A complete list of nominees is at the end of this article. The awards will be presented at a luncheon on the first day of NATPE, which is being dedicated for the first time to programs and panels about reality TV.

Part of that will be a reality TV "pro pitch" for the first time where would be TV show creators can suggest ideas for reality shows. Perth called it a "once in a lifetime opportunity for creative people to pitch realty projects to buyers."

For the first time, NATPE will also feature a number of YouTube stars, according to Perth.

All of the major studios – including Warner Bros., Disney, Fox and Sony — will participate once again, although it appears there will only be a handful of new first-run shows being sold and promoted at the market.

Perth downplayed the significance of that. He said the era when NATPE was all about stations coming only to buy first run shows over. "Station groups realize NATPE delivers something they otherwise don't get," said Perth, a former local station executive himself, "a broader view of the competitive nature of the business."

Perth said there are more station executives coming to NATPE than in recent years but they represent fewer station groups due to consolidation in the domestic marketplace.

"They don't live in the first-run syndication world," said Perth. "That's the old world, the silo they used to be in."

He said stations, advertisers and others are coming from around the world "to look at the new possibilities. That's why the digital market is so important. Local television stations I think would say of themselves they were slow to adapt to the possibilities of digital. They are now realizing they can't be, and this is the place they can learn and meet people."

Perth talked about a number of people and events previously announced featuring about 150 speakers in about 50 events. He noted it will start with the opening day keynote conversation with Norman Lear, which will be moderated by Everybody Loves Raymond executive producer Phil Rosenthal, and the Tartikoff Legacy Awards, which will be on Wednesday evening.

He said actress, producer and activist Eva Longoria will also be on hand for the Global Navigators Track on Thursday to discuss how U.S. networks can engage the growing Hispanic population.

NATPE bills itself as the "Market of the Americas" because its Miami location facilitates participation by many buyers and sellers from Latin America. The banner theme for this conference is "Content Without Borders.”

Here is a list of the Reality Breakthrough Awards nominees:

§  COMPETITION- American Ninja Warrior; Face Off; MasterChef Junior; Shark Tank; The Voice

§  DOCUSOAP- Big SMO; Chrisley Knows Best; Teen Mom; True Tori; Wahlburgers;

§  GAME SHOW- @Midnight; Hollywood Game Night; Jeopardy!; The Chase; The Price Is Right

§  REALITY- Botched; Catfish; Life Below Zero; Naked & Afraid; The Profit

§  FACTUALAnthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown; Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations; Brain Games; Cold Justice; The Daily Show.