Indies score at NATPE

Feb 4, 2002  •  Post A Comment

Despite the ever-growing consolidation movement, independent players continue to make an impact on the station lineups for this fall, with a number of start-ups making inroads and firming deals at the National Association of Television Program Executives conference last month.
Upcoming weekly series covering teens, racing and wrestling will soon find their way to the small screen, thanks to a number of entrepreneurial spirits throughout the country.
Currently leading the pack of start-ups is “Teen Talk” from Clark Productions in Texas. The series has been picked up by more than 60 percent of the country, including the WB 100+ Station Group, according to company founder Caroline Clark.
“Stations are looking at the series as both a fulfillment of an [Federal Communications Commission] requirement and a transitional program on their lineups, so right now we’re looking great entering the season,” she said.
One deal firmed up at the Las Vegas convention is for the debut of Tampa, Fla.-based XWF Wrestling. The series had been seeking to establish itself as an alternative to the World Wrestling Federation and may have found an outlet to do so. The fledgling company has signed an agreement with Clear Channel Entertainment to assist in the distribution of its television product over the air or via cable both domestically and internationally.
The company was among the few to go full scale at the NATPE convention with a full-size wrestling ring and appearances by a number of its wrestlers.
Also set to debut before the fall is “Fastrack TV” from Champion Sports. The independent producer has taken the upcoming auto racing show to the majority of the country, with 54 percent cleared for its March debut. Among the deals now pinned are clearances with Sinclair Broadcast Group and Cosmos Broadcasting stations.