The Miami TV market in January is alive and well. But it’s not NATPE Miami — it’s DISCOP Miami — and it comes courtesy of the folks who’ve already given the international TV industry markets such as DISCOP Budapest and DISCOP Johannesburg. The former was later sold to NATPE and became NATPE Budapest. Now, it seems that DISCOP would like to take back their Budapest dates for June 2023.
Meanwhile, DISCOP Miami is set for January 31-February 2, 2023 at the Grand Beach Hotel Miami Beach, a complex that’s close to the Fontainebleau, where the last in-person NATPE Miami market (NATPE 2020) took place. (The 2021 edition was held online, and the 2022 in-person edition was canceled.)
After NATPE announced that it had filed for Chapter 11 on October 3, 2022, Patrick Zuchowicki, DISCOP’s founder and general manager, moved quickly to secure hotel space at the Grand Beach (pictured above), which offered very low rates for such a high-season period.
Even though time was of the essence, Zuchowicki was able to secure a good number of rooms at this four-star, luxury hotel in mid-October. This is especially impressive considering that the event was exactly 100 days away. The overflow could easily be accommodated at hotels that are within walking distance, including the Eden Roc and the aforementioned Fontainebleau.
As for NATPE, according to U.S. bankruptcy law, through the Chapter 11 provisions, companies can ask the courts to schedule a reorganization of a debtor’s business affairs, debts, and assets, and get breathing room while they develop a plan in order to return to doing business. However, in the case of NATPE, the financial situation is dramatic, and, on October 26, 2022, they officially announced that their January 2023 event in The Bahamas was canceled.
There was also the fact that some companies paid in advance for exhibition space for NATPE Miami 2022 (which was canceled) and were expecting to get credited for the 2023 event, meaning that even if NATPE 2023 were to take place, the organization’s income would be drastically reduced.
And it isn’t simply a matter of the NATPE market being taken over by some other organization. It has been widely assumed that NATPE has no assets to be taken over outside its brand, which now could be shattered by the Chapter 11 filing and by its controversial decision to move the NATPE market to the expensive Baha Mar complex in The Bahamas. Also, with the filing of Chapter 11, NATPE’s president became its “interim” president, and three of its key executives became “consultants.” Plus, the rest of its reduced staff is now reportedly working on a freelance basis.
Most of this information about NATPE was previously published in the December 2021, January 2022, April 2022, and October 2022 editions of VideoAge, and in the June 16, 2022 and July 13, 2022 editions of VideoAge‘s Water Cooler digital feature.
To provide additional value to exhibitors, Zuchowicki is reportedly inviting a few U.S. organizations to stage their own domestic-centric TV events at DISCOP Miami, with the intent of attracting executives from local TV stations.