Prensario - Daily Service - June 28th
Natpe Budapest 2012: a mix of sensations, future expectations
2012.06.29 | 430 buyers and 200 exhibitors attended Natpe Budapest 2012, according to official figures by the organization at the end of the show. The outcome is a mix of feelings: on the one hand, there were complaints about the event in itself, that should be taken into consideration; on the other hand, almost everybody has stressed the relevance of the market and plans to return in 2013 on June 26-28.
When the European crisis comes to an end, there will be a ebullient CEE market with far more content outlets than in the past, from free- and pay TV to new media platforms.
The exhibitors agree on that the most important things to review for 2013 are the digital tools applied to set meetings and the dates of the U.S. studios screenings. The buyers have been a bit upset because for the first time they had to pay a registration fee to attend the market. Both exhibitors and buyers must work jointly with Natpe to reinforce the market for the future, highlighting its virtues and boosting its advantages. The CEE industry needs Natpe Budapest, indeed.
The biggest economies within the region, Poland and Russia were the top stars at this market. In Poland, Polcast has released Novela TV, increasing its offer to four cable channels; in Russia there is an important effort of the local industry to start up reliable digital distribution platforms in order to avoid a growth of piracy content. In Ukraine, in January 2013 a new cable channel branded SUN will be launched showcasing premiere drama series. ‘There is a lot of action coming from the smallest companies’, recaps a distributor.
With an ad pie of 2 billion US dollars, Turkey is another major player. Many things have happened within the last months: Start, Kanal D's second channel, was sold in November 2011 to Dogus Group, and ATV is waiting to be sold soon. Moreover, both channels have cancelled the agreement with AGB and will nail down a deal with TNS for their audience measurements.
In Greece, the crisis is a burden to the local industry. ‘The cheapest way to be entertained is by watching TV, so the people are staying at home for this. But, as the channels don’t have money to produce new shows or even to acquire finished content; they are programming reruns, which results in a flat offer. Hopefully the situation will soon get better’, confides a local source.
There is a new strong trend in Hungary: daily scripted formats, easy and not so expensive to produce. RTL Klub has taken advantage with Cases of Doubt (a new hybrid genre: Constructed reality, from All3Media) and now TV2 is following the trend. Gergely Okros, Chief Creative Officer, asserts: ‘Aside from big shows like The Voice (to be premiered this fall), we’ve been looking for this kind of formats at this show'.
Natpe Budapest 2012 has gathered buyers from the entire region: Hungary, but also from Croatia, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Ukraine and Poland. There were new attendee companies from smaller countries like Moldova, Montenegro, Macedonia, Kosovo, Jordan and Kazakhstan. Maria Nadolna, managing director of TVP Poland, says: ‘We have not attended Discop East in the past, but now that we know Natpe is organizing it, we have decided to come back’.
Several content distributors from India, South Africa, South Korea and Russia have been in Budapest for the first time, according to Natpe, who’s CEO, Rod Perth, comments: ‘With the number of new productions being reduced because of lower budgets, and the continued proliferation of digital and online platforms, programming of all types is becoming even more checked throughout the CEE region and beyond. Our aim is to continue making this very relevant market even more valuable to all attendees, in the upcoming years’.