The National Association of Television Program Executives, better known by its acronym NATPEis filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
The organization, led by CEO JP Bommel, says the COVID-19 pandemic and the cancellation of its signature conferences and events ultimately forced the decision.
“NATPE, like many professional organizations, has been adversely affected by the COVID pandemic, preventing NATPE from hosting events, which typically generate significant revenue,” the company said in a statement Monday. “These cancellations forced NATPE to work with its financial reserves, forcing it to now reorganize NATPE’s corporate structure.”
NATPE has one flagship conference and TV show 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 due to the pandemic, with the event set to take place in 2022 canceled at the last minute due to an increase in COVID cases.
The company says it plans to hold its event in the Bahamas in 2023, with its annual European market in Budapest next June. The organization “is currently not planning to cancel the two events.”
Like many entertainment groups and festivals, NATPE launched a virtual market in 2020, but the virtual marketplaces couldn’t match the revenue from the in-person events.
NATPE’s conference is aimed at TV station owners in the US and abroad, with attendees including studios and production companies looking to sell syndicated entertainment rates and other programming and formats.
NATPE says it is “looking at all possible options to restructure, including raising funds through strategic alliances, and will continue to operate NATPE as a more streamlined and reorganized operation.”