Event Preview: NATPE Miami

The 2018 edition of NATPE Miami is slated for next month, with the annual market and conference set to take place at the Fontainebleau and Eden Roc resorts from January 16 to 18.

With registration pacing ahead of last year and independent producers and international exhibitors accounting for the increase to date, NATPE Miami organizers are confident that the upcoming market and conference will be robust. “This will be the most important conference in NATPE history and one of the most valuable for people in our industry to attend,” JP Bommel, the president and CEO of NATPE, said during a call with members of the press. “There is so much change in our business that virtually every conversation centers on what the future will be like for us and how we adapt to the constant change that is occurring right now.” That is why this year’s theme is “A Changing Industry in a Changing World.”

Some of the topics that will be addressed during the conference include the future of OTT, VOD, the cable industry, broadcast stations and more. For example, the Station Group Forum will return and cover topics such as how ATSC 3.0 will change the business of broadcasting. A session titled OTT & Me: A Station Group Research Report, presented by PromaxBDA, is also confirmed for January.

The program tracks lined up for this year include Brands & Advertisers; Music + Vision; Development, Deals, Data; Platforms & OTT; Scripted; Unscripted; Station Groups; Global Perspectives, Regional Focus; and Latin American Broadcasting and Distribution. NATPE will introduce a Streaming Summit for the first time. The NATPE Streaming Summit will take a holistic look at the current OTT and streaming landscape and its outlook. Facebook will hold a session hosted by the company’s head of global creative strategy, Ricky Van Veen, about its new content platform, Facebook Watch.

“One of the highlights of the marketplace would be co-production opportunities among Europe, Latin America, Asia,” thanks to international participants, Bommel said. There will be international pavilions for Argentina, Brazil, China, France, South Korea, Spain, Taiwan and the U.K., organized by PactUK. “We’re very excited to focus on international producers, and we’re very thrilled to announce that Pact in the U.K. has chosen to do a global pavilion at NATPE in January,” Bommel added.

NATPE Miami will also host a lineup of speakers that includes key members of the industry. Tony Vinciquerra, the chairman and CEO of Sony Pictures Entertainment, and Soledad O’Brien, the host of Hearst Television’s acclaimed political magazine show Matter of Fact, will headline NATPE Miami with a keynote conversation on January 17. “Tony and Soledad have known each other for years, and this will be a rare inside look at the industry from a studio chief and a great visionary; we’re very excited to have them both,” Bommel said.

Other notable speakers include STUDIOCANAL TV’s Rola Bauer, Sony Pictures Television’s Andy Kaplan, CBS Studios International’s Armando Nuñez, Eccho Rights’ Laura Minarro and Facebook’s Mina Lefevre, among others. There will also be a spotlight conversation with Roma Khanna, the CEO of REVOLT Media and TV.

The recipients of NATPE’s 15th Annual Brandon Tartikoff Legacy Award are executive producer Greg Berlanti (Arrow, Flash); NBCUniversal International Group and NBCUniversal Telemundo Enterprises Chairman Cesar Conde; award-winning actress Jane Fonda (Grace and Frankie); TBS and TNT President Kevin Reilly; and award-winning actor Tom Selleck (Blue Bloods). They will receive the award at a special reception on January 17 at the Fontainebleau.

World Screen’s group editorial director, Anna Carugati, will moderate a conversation with NBCUniversal’s Conde at 10 a.m. on January 17 in the Ocean Tower Salon 1B/C at the Eden Roc. Carugati will also moderate a panel on pay TV in Latin America as part of the Latin American Summit at 10 a.m. on January 18 in the same location.

Looking ahead, Bommel expressed his desire to keep the event in Miami. “We’re committed to staying in Miami. This is a great destination. We’re not going anywhere for the foreseeable future.”