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NATPE to Acquire European Content Market

Jan 23, 2006  •  Post A Comment

The National Association of Television Program Executives is acquiring the Eastern European content market DISCOP.

NATPE President and CEO Rick Feldman and DISCOP General Manager Patrick Jucaud announced the acquisition Monday, the day before NATPE’s annual convention in Las Vegas.

Financial terms for the deal were not disclosed, but at a press conference announcing the deal Mr. Feldman said the price was “one our board felt was fair and reasonable.”

Mr. Jucaud will continue to oversee the day-to-day operations of DISCOP, a content market he developed 15 years ago. The 2006 DISCOP conference, which is expected to attract about 300 international sales organizations and about 750 TV programming, acquisition, production and marketing executives, will take place in June in Budapest, Hungary. Executives from more than 30 Central and Eastern European countries such as Albania and Ukraine are scheduled to attend. In the past, major U.S. companies such as Warner Bros. International Television, 20th Century Fox Television Distribution, Sony Pictures International and Buena Vista International Television have had a presence at DISCOP.

For DISCOP ’06, the name of the convention will remain the same, Mr. Feldman said, noting that any change for this year would be “premature.” But a name change within the next few years that represents both organizations “makes sense,” he said.

Now in its 43rd year, NATPE must continue to expand, Mr. Feldman said. “It’s an opportunity for us to grow the business but keep the price points attractive,” he said, adding that it is important for NATPE to have a “global footprint.”

In terms of acquiring other conventions, Mr. Feldman said he didn’t expect NATPE to target anything else “in the near term,” including the Monaco-based TV convention MIPCOM.

MIPCOM is a “forum, but not really a conference [or] a market,” said Stephen Davis, co-chair of NATPE, pointing out that the two entities are unique and not competitors.

The deal comes just months before Mr. Feldman’s three-year contract with NATPE expires in May. There is “desire on both our parts” to extend the contract, Mr. Feldman said.