NATPE Budapest is a reflection of the current state of affairs in the CEE-CIS-Balkan region, and will show the political turmoil currently underway in Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic; the endemic corruption in Slovakia that led to Prime Minister Robert Fico's resignation; the continued turbulence in Russia and Ukraine; and a certain volatility in Turkey.
As a political tool, TV networks in CEE-CIS-Balkan countries also reflect the local realpolitik, and all of this will be discussed, analyzed, and reviewed at NATPE Budapest.
Despite all this drama, business deals will still be made at the trade show. Indeed, TV outlets--be them FTA, cable, satellite, OTT or any of the VoD varieties (SVoD, AVoD, TVoD, etc.)--need a lot of content, and NATPE Budapest will meet their needs.
TV consultant Kris Wiktorczyk from Warsaw reported that, "Polish TV networks are buying a lot of foreign programs. Actually, too much," he stressed.
At NATPE Budapest, more than 250 participating companies, of which 150 are exhibiting content distributors, will be competing for the attention (and wallets) of some 500 buyers.
"There will be a 10 percent overall increase of participants," reported NATPE CEO JP Bommel. He also noted that, this year, the TV market has expanded its reach to the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), and for this reason, the market will now officially be called NATPE Budapest International, or NBI.
With 1,500 expected participants, NBI is not a large event, but it is considered an effective showcase, considering that a good number of CEE-CIS-Balkan and MENA buyers didn't go to MIP-TV in April or to the L.A. Screenings, which took place last month.
The most unique aspect of NBI is its attraction to TV buyers who are difficult to pinpoint on a map. This is because, as indicated on the other front-cover story in this Issue, Eastern Europe has moved further east, and countries in the former Soviet Union (or CIS) are now in the CEE zone, which also includes Balkan countries, like Greece and European Turkey.
In terms of TV territories, CEE can include up to 17 countries, but nine of these countries overlap with the 11 Balkan countries. In the CIS...