By Dom Serafini

Budapest, June 21, 2011 — DISCOP East opened with a bang in the form of a news conference where DISCOP’s founder Patrick Jucaud and NATPE’s CEO Rick Feldman announced that, starting next year, DISCOP will become NATPE/BUDAPEST.

Basically, after six years of co-habitation, the Los Angeles-based NATPE has taken majority ownership of DISCOP East. The DISCOP brand will continue to exist for Jucaud’s other TV trade shows, like DISCOP Africa and DISCOP Istanbul. In addition, through his Paris-based Basic Lead company, Jucaud is organizing a new market for licensing and merchandising. For these other DISCOP trade markets, NATPE will continue to have minority ownership, while Jucaud will retain majority ownership.

NATPE/BUDAPEST will thus become NATPE’s second annual market after its traditional U.S. trade show, once again to be held in Miami, Florida next January.

Feldman said that he’s not planning to make drastic changes, however all options are open. To begin with, next year the Budapest market will take place a week after the current dates. In addition, the Sofitel hotel is not to be taken for granted, and a possible move from Budapest may be on the horizon (although not until next year). Negotiations with the Sofitel are taking place now and the outcome will determine future plans.

Finally, all organizational operations for NATPE/BUDAPEST will be moving from Paris to Los Angeles, under the guidance of Jucaud’s people.

When asked why NATPE’s slogan “Content First,” didn’t become “Content Sales First,” considering the sales nature of NATPE’s shows, Feldman answered, “Because we didn’t consult first with [VideoAge].”