NATPE to file for bankruptcy, citing COVID and dwindling reserves

The National Association of Television Program Directors (NATPE), which organizes trade shows for the television industry, announced on Monday that it would file for bankruptcy.

The organization said the pandemic has forced it to cancel its flagship events, driving down its revenue and forcing it to dip into its reserves. A bankruptcy filing was expected on Tuesday.

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NATPE said it will restructure under Chapter 11 and still plans to hold its annual conference Jan. 17-19, 2023 in the Bahamas.

“NATPE is exploring all possible options to restructure, including fundraising through strategic alliances, and continues to operate NATPE as a more streamlined and reorganized operation,” the group said in a statement. “For nearly 60 years, NATPE has been the leading global trade association for content producers, distributors, developers, streamers and buyers across all distribution platforms. NATPE is optimistic that it will emerge from the reorganization process in the same position.

NATPE is a non-profit organization. According to his tax filings, revenue was down even before the pandemic, falling from a high of $9.1 million in fiscal year 2015 to $7.1 million in fiscal year 2020, the last year for which a return is available.

In October 2020, the organization was for follow-up by its landlord for non-payment of rent for its former office building. The case was resolved the following year.

NATPE canceled its in-person conferences in Miami in January 2021 and January 2022, holding virtual events instead. According to the 2020 tax return, the last in-person conference generated $5.4 million in revenue.

The group resumed in-person events in June, holding their market in Budapest. At the same time, the group announced that the Miami conference would be relocated from Miami to Nassau.

The Budapest event is set to return in June 2023.

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