Magazine article Variety

Buyers Start Year Flush with Cash, Ready to Spend

Magazine article Variety

Buyers Start Year Flush with Cash, Ready to Spend

Article excerpt

Global content takes on higher importance as top shows can travel around the world

In its heyday, NATPE was the industry's biggest party.

Syndicators, such as King World and Paramount, assembled huge booths, threw lavish fetes and paraded their stars in front of legions of TV station buyers. This year, which is NATPE's 50th, the conference is a much smaller affair: both more intimate and more international.

With the its move to Miami Beach in 2011, the confab has become the kickoff market for the year's global selling season, with buyers coming in from Canada, Latin America and Europe to start sampling the wares.

"I love kicking off the year at NATPE," says John Pollak, president of Electus Intl., which is bringing NBC's "Fashion Star," TNT's "The Hero" and TBS' upcoming "King of the Nerds" to the mart as well as upcoming series featuring cable stars Bear Grylls and Dog the Bounty Hunter. "Buyers are much more receptive at that market than at other ones. Most of the time they come in with their budgets renewed and money in their bank accounts that they can spend," he adds. "Ever since the switch from Las Vegas to Miami, there have been more buyers coming over from Europe. Toward the end of the Vegas run, it felt like the buyers weren't there anymore."

"I think NATPE is the first must-attend market of the year for anyone who is involved in television and content, and that includes both linear and digital content," says Rod Perth, NATPE's president and CEO, who will be running his first convention.

Maria Kyriacou, managing director for ITV Studios Global Entertainment, says: "NATPE kicks off our calendar year, and it's become a good market to connect with our clients in Canada and Latin America. We tend to focus a lot of our efforts on them."

This year, ITV is bringing several new shows to NATPE, including "Mr. Selfridge," starring Jeremy Piven, which just premiered on U. …

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