NATPE Filing for Bankruptcy, Citing Pandemic Impact

NATPE Filing for Bankruptcy, Citing Pandemic Impact

The National Association of Television Program Executives, better known by its acronym NATPE, is filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

The organization, led by CEO JP Bommel, says that the COVID-19 pandemic and the cancelation of its signature conferences and events ultimately forced the decision.

“NATPE, like many other professional organizations, has been adversely impacted by the COVID pandemic, which prevented NATPE from holding events, which typically generate significant revenue,” the company said in a statement Monday. “These cancellations forced NATPE to operate on its financial reserves, which now require it to reorganize the NATPE business structure.”

NATPE holds one flagship conference and TV programming marketplace per year (it has been held in Miami for a number of years), but was unable to hold the event in 2021 or 2022 because of the pandemic, with the 2022 event canceled at the last minute due to a surge in COVID cases.

The company says it plans to hold its 2023 event in the Bahamas, with its annual European marketplace set to take place next June in Budapest. The organization “does not presently intend to cancel the two events.”

Like many entertainment groups and festivals, NATPE launched a virtual market in 2020, but the virtual marketplaces could not match the revenue that the in-person events drew.

NATPE’s conference is geared toward TV station owners in the U.S. and abroad, with participants including studios and production companies looking to sell syndicated entertainment fare and other programming and formats.

NATPE says it is “looking at all possible options to restructure, including raising funds through strategic alliances, and continue to operate NATPE as a more streamlined and reorganized operation.”

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