The 40th annual NATPE TV market got off to a good start yesterday, January 22. Miami Beach continued to serve as a great location for the eventalbeit an expensive one for both the organizers and the exhibitors.

After an unusually cold Monday morning, temperatures went back up to 70 F (21 C) later in the day, although the high winds persisted into Wednesday.

A good number of distributors were said to be happy with the number of meetings they had, which average out to 35 per exhibitor during the market’s two-and-ahalf days.

The buyers showed enthusiasm, as well. Commented Lily Caputo of Canada’s TLN, “My first day was very busy, with a large number of meetings.”

Earlier today, an unusual NATPE board meeting took place, and a press conference to be held tomorrow was already announced yesterday.

The issues on the agenda were expected to be varied, and include the Fontainebleau Hotel as NATPE’s chosen venue, market innovations, new initiatives, increased market participation, and the not-for-profit association’s finances.

Some of the complaints from exhibitors included the inaugural day’s 10 a.m. market start time, which was seen as too late. Many would prefer that the floor open an hour earlier. The inefficiency of having an outside company handle registration was also expected to be discussed.

Much improved this year were the lines at the busiest Tresor Tower elevators, which have thus far had an average wait time of less than five minutes during peak hours.

Seminars, it was said, have tended to be more focused on the business of buying and selling with increased participation from exhibitors as panelists. (Pictured above is Fox’s Mark Kaner, l., and Turner’s Gerhard Zeiler at yesterday’s “International TV Has Grown Up” seminar.)

This year, the exhibitors’ booth and table areas were smartly combined in the main exhibition room. The space previously occupied by the tables is now being used for conferences. Condista’s Jorge Fiterre said that he was encouraged by the fact that he could rent a cabana without having to first commit to a stand or a suite.

The Opening Party was well attended despite five competing recreational events. The only funny thing was the fact that the abundant food served could only be eaten with knives — there simply weren’t enough forks to go around.