NATPE 2015 is off and running

NATPE2015The 53rd annual gathering of the National Association of Television Program Executives (NATPE) got underway at the Fontainbleau Resort in Miami on Tuesday as syndicators, producers, and content creators converged for the three day conference, which ends on Thursday.

There were some programming announcements made at or just prior to NATPE’s start:

Disney-ABC Domestic Television announced updated clearance information for new Tyra Banks’ panel show The F*A*B Life (formerly the FAB). In addition to the ABC-owned station group (which includes WLS-TV in Chicago), FAB is now cleared in 70 percent the country, achieving “firm go” status, with Gannett, Scripps, CBS, and Raycom groups signing on. Stations include WFAA Dallas; WSB-TV Atlanta; WWJ-TV Detroit; KARE Minneapolis-St Paul; and WOIO Cleveland. The hour-long strip premieres in September.

Bellum Entertainment announced a new half-hour strip titled Corrupt Crimes, which also debuts in September, with the Sinclair Broadcasting becoming the first group to sign on, assuring clearances in Milwaukee, St. Louis, and the downstate markets of Peoria and Champaign-Springfield-Decatur. Crimes investigates stories detailed for the viewer, with expert analysis and dramatic storytelling. If you plan to watch the show, be prepared for a heavy commercial load: Corrupt Crimes is sold on all-barter basis with eight minutes of ads – an even split with the station and syndicator.

This is the second crime-based series to be offered in syndication for next fall; Tribune and Warner Bros. announced a similar project (Crimewatch Daily) a few months ago.

The biggest announcement at NATPE on Tuesday came from a boxing legend: Oscar De La Hoya, an Olympic Gold medalist, ten-time champion, and head of successful Golden Boy Promotions, is teaming up with Mexican boxing mogul Pepe Lopez to launch De La Hoya TV, a new Spanish-language sports and lifestyle channel targeted to U.S. Hispanics. Focus would be on boxing (of course) but also mixed martial arts, or MMA, which draws a predominately young male audience. In addition, De La Hoya TV plans to develop programming featuring many of the travel and hotspot destinations in Mexico.

DeLoya plans to initially offer the channel as an Over-the-top (OTT) offering at first, and later as a cable VOD product, and eventually, a linear (basic cable) channel.

The legendary Norman Lear was featured the keynote speaker at NATPE this year, and the 93-year old sat down with Everybody Loves Raymond creator Phil Rosenthal for a session about how the business has changed since Lear’s heyday in the 1970’s, and the ageism that plagues the industry.

You can view the entire conversation right here- just click on the YouTube video below.