CBS Decides to Skip NATPE; Feldman Says Other Participants Set

Oct 30, 2007  •  Post A Comment

As the shocking news of CBS Television Distribution’s pullout from NATPE echoed across the industry Tuesday, NATPE president Rick Feldman said no further major changes are expected at the annual domestic and international television market in January.
CBS confirmed reports that the group, headed by syndication legend Roger King, would not be in attendance at the National Association of Television Program Executives’ gathering, noting sales of its upcoming talk show “The Doctors” are far enough along that there is little need to attend the event.
One source speculated that even in a division as successful as CBS Television Distribution, which distributes eight of the top 10 syndicated shows most weeks, there was internal pressure to trim budgets. Elaborate booths and parties at NATPE can cost a company a couple of million dollars.
Another source countered that if it needed to save money, the company could have moved to hotel suites for the market, echoing other syndication players such as Twentieth Television and Disney/ABC Domestic Television Distribution; those bills can run six figures instead of seven. That source also suggested a divide had formed between CBS and NATPE.
Mr. Feldman and a CBS representative vehemently denied those rumors, noting there was no rift between the two and saying they were hopeful the company would return to the market in the future.
“Every year we and other syndicators debate our need to do business at NATPE,” CBS Television Distribution said in a statement. “This year, with the swift sales of our product before the market, we have determined that we’re meeting the needs of our clients and we’ll sit this one out. We’ll miss our friends and the big party, and we thank Rick for his patience while we took time to reach this decision. We’ll reassess this next year.”
CBS International will continue to be a presence on the floor, however. Mr. Feldman said the strength of the global market at NATPE continued to make the market a must for distributors and buyers alike.
Earlier in the year, Sony Pictures Television announced it would shift the bulk of its NATPE presence to the Consumer Electronics Show, which takes place earlier in the month in Las Vegas, in order to capitalize on the growing popularity and power of CES.
With CBS and Sony off the floor, only two of the major domestic distributors will be anchoring the NATPE map, NBC Universal Domestic Television Distribution and Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution. The latter looks to return to the floor after years in the suites.


  1. This is the beginning of the end for NATPE. With the consolidation of the studios and the growth of their power, they no longer need the show.
    It was a good ride while it lasted. The glory days are over

  2. Da Da Daaaa, Da Da Daaaa….
    The music you have just sung is taps for NATPE. It was a great ride but it just didn’t evolve with the digital, corporate world that Television has become. What a shame.

  3. When Roger King pulls out of NATPE, the folks who run NATPE have big cause for concern. Roger has long been among the most aggressive of NATPE attendees and made the convention more fun for the rest of us. However, NATPE’s tough times are not the fault of syndicators and/or attendees but rather the fault of FCC decisions that allowed ownership to consolidate to the point that most content buyers can fit into a telephone booth and be reached with a single call. A convention of gatekeepers is a pretty small gathering and certainly not worth a seven-figure marketing expenditure.
    NATPE must reinvent itself in a very dramatic way or perish. Anyone remember INTV?

  4. NATPE in a few years will be similar to VSDA with mostly third-rate, bottom-feeders scrounging for crumbs or just using the convention as an excuse to visit Vegas. In reality, any good sales force should not need NATPE to sell programs, just as any real video distributor does not need VSDA. Either you are doing business year round or you are masturbating.

  5. As a third rate bottom feeder( astep up from fourth!), I’ll miss the convention this year. Without the big whales that attract all the fish time and money is best spent elsewhere. Consolidation in the marketplace has tightened the oxygen supply of many creative forces in the industry and it is showing. And what is Ed Rasen doing in my bedroom?

  6. People are watching less TV because the programs being offered on TV are garbage. Advertisers should boycott television and spend more of their budgets on the Internet. I watch maybe 2 hours of TV a week. TV, newspapers, radio are fading off into the sunset like Model T and other 20th century automobiles

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