NATPE takes control of Discop

Eastern European TV mart to be renamed

NATPE has acquired majority control of East European TV mart Discop East, which opened in Budapest on Tuesday.

Patrick Jucaud, owner of Los Angeles-based Basic Lead, has run Discop since founding it in 1991 to give international distribs the chance to sell content to the emerging markets of the former Soviet Bloc. NATPE took a minority stake in 2004

“This change is a great thing for NATPE,” said its CEO Rick Feldman. “We’ve learned a lot from Patrick and his organization.”

Basic Lead will remain a minority owner in Discop East, which will be renamed NATPE Budapest. Neither side would specify the financial terms of the sale.

Jucaud told Variety he sold his majority share so that Basic Lead can focus on new markets carrying the Discop brand in the emerging nations of Africa and the Middle East, including Discop Nairobi and Discop Istanbul. Basic Lead is also organizing licensing and adaptation rights markets. According to Jucaud, Discop will end its East European epoch with a bang. The market, running in Budapest Sofitel Chain Bridge Hoteluntil Thursday, boasted 323 pre-registered buyers with 100 additional companies scheduled to register on Tuesday.

With 273 sellers registered, the market will have 40 more buyers and sellers than last year.

Feldman expects increased biz this year as the region claws its way out of the economic crisis.

According to organizers, formats — many by East Europeans — and telenovelas will be hot commodities.

One new feature will be the introduction of Turkish-made telenovelas, which have long been popular in Asian and Middle Eastern markets.