Better Than Last Year. Business Wasn't Perfect, But Still the Only Game in Town.

This year's edition of NATPE Budapest International (NBI) came to a close unusually late in the month of June, running from June 25-27, 2019. Next year's edition will be even later, ending on July 3, due to the 2020 UEFA European Football Championship games, some of which will take place in Budapest in the weeks leading up to NBI.

NBI 2019, held at the Intercontinental Hotel, welcomed about 1,500 participants coming from 70 countries. VideoAge asked a few of the attendees how they thought the June market went. Responses, of course, varied. But there weren't the usual protests about the U.S. studios' screenings, which took place on Monday for Warner Bros., Tuesday morning for CBS, Tuesday afternoon for NBC/Uni, on Wednesday morning for MGM, and on Wednesday afternoon for Lionsgate.

Matthew Frank, CEO of London-based TRX, an online licensing platform for TV rights, said, "[NBI] was similar to previous years--I like the fact that the market is more intimate than the MIP markets in Cannes. It was well attended by buyers and we had full diaries."

"This was my first NATPE Europe since the event was in Prague in 2015," commented Eric Lapointe, president of And Now Global, an international film and television distribution company based out of Vancouver. "This year's market would be hard to compare to the 2015 event, but I did feel it was easier to get meetings and also meet new people in the business."

Alessandro Venturi, sales manager at Italy's Mondo TV, a producer and distributor specializing in animated properties, said that, "the market seemed to be a little bit better than previous years--by that, of course, I mean in terms of participants and fruitful or constructive meetings."

"Clearly, this show has a strong appeal to buyers from CEE so it is less likely to have the attendance numbers of a Europe-wide exhibition," he continued. "However, it is certainly a very effective exhibition for visitors from Eastern Europe, or those wanting to do TV-focused business with that region."

The market encompasses Central and Eastern Europe, CIS countries, and MENA territories, and expectedly, CEE territories were the most represented. Lapointe found "some interesting surprises with people attending from Spain, China, the Middle East, Canada, and the United States."

Mondo TVs Venturi concurred, "As you might expect, the main areas involved were Eastern Europe and the former Yugoslavia. There was also a reasonable turnout from the Middle East, Russia (and...

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