NATPE Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection

The National Association of Television Program Executives (NATPE) has reportedly filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The longtime trade group cited financial fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic, which led to the cancellation of numerous conferences and events, contributed to the decision.

“NATPE, like many other professional organizations, has been adversely impacted by the COVID pandemic, which prevented NATPE from holding events, which typically generate significant revenue,” the organization said in a statement. “These cancellations forced NATPE to operate on its financial reserves, which now require it to reorganize the NATPE business structure.”

NATPE, which targets television station owners, including syndication outlets globally, still plans to hold it U.S. showcase event in the Bahamas (moved from Miami) in 2023, in addition to a planned European event in Budapest, Hungary.

“For almost 60 years, NATPE has been the leading global professional association for content producers, distributors, developers, streamers and buyers across all distribution platforms,” read the statement. “NATPE is optimistic that it will emerge from the reorganization process in the same position.”

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

Bankruptcy Court Grants Regal Cinemas Owner $785 Million Lifeline

A U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Texas has approved $785 million in immediate financing relief for Regal Cinemas’ parent Cineworld Group to keep the world’s No. 2 theater operator functioning and be able to pay its bills. The rest of the assembled $1.94 billion debtor-in-possession fiscal support will be doled out over time by the court judge.

Cineworld, which operates 9,139 screens across 10 countries, earlier this week filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection after reportedly disclosing it had just $4 million in the bank to fund operations. The U.K.-based theater operator was hit hard by the pandemic, which forced it shutter operations for more than a year.

The chain listed liabilities from $10 billion to $50 billion. Studio debtors reportedly include Universal Pictures, which is owned $20.5 million; Lionsgate ($15.1 million); Disney ($14.1 million); Imax ($11.4 million); Warner Bros. Pictures ($7.7 million) and Sony Pictures ($3.3 million).

“Today’s approval of our requested ‘first day’ relief is a positive step forward for the group and our restructuring efforts,” CEO Mooky Greidinger said in a statement. “As we position Cineworld for long-term growth, through this Chapter 11 process and beyond, we remain steadfast in our commitment to providing our guests with the most memorable moviegoing experiences and maintaining our long-standing relationships with our business partners.”

Regal Cinemas Owner Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection

Regal Cinemas owner Cineworld Group Sept. 7 announced it had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas. Cineworld is the No. 2 theatrical distributor, operating in 10 countries, including the U.S. and the U.K. with 747 sites and 9,139 screens globally.

Through the filing, Cineworld, with expected $1.94 billion debtor-in-possession fiscal support of its secured lenders, will seek to implement a de-leveraging transaction that could significantly reduce its debt, strengthen its balance sheet and provide the financial flexibility to accelerate ongoing operations.

Regal will continue business as normal during the bankruptcy proceeding, with the intention of paying all vendors and suppliers in full and on normal terms for valid amounts for goods and services received during the Chapter 11 process. In addition, Cineworld expects that employees will continue to receive their usual wages and benefits without interruption.

It is expected that any de-leveraging transaction will result in very significant dilution of existing equity interests in Cineworld and there is no guarantee of any recovery for holders of existing equity interests. The company does not expect the filing to result in a suspension of trading in its shares on the London Stock Exchange.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

Cineworld anticipates emerging from Chapter 11 during the first quarter of 2023 and contends a comprehensive financial restructuring is in the best interests of the company and stakeholders in the long term. As part of its restructuring process, Cineworld expects to engage in collaborative discussions with U.S. landlords to improve its theater lease terms.

“The pandemic was an incredibly difficult time for our business, with the enforced closure of cinemas and huge disruption to film schedules that has led us to this point,” CEO Mooky Greidinger said in a statement.

Greidinger said the filing would allow the company to restructure theatrical operations, including rolling out cutting-edge screen formats and enhancements to existing “flagship” theaters.

“Our goal remains to further accelerate our strategy so we can grow our position as the ‘best place to watch a movie,’” he said.

Vewd Software Gets $10 Million Lifeline After Bankruptcy Filing

Vewd Software, a Norwegian-based over-the-top video tech provider to myriad companies, including Redbox, Cinedigm and Vizio, has received a $10 million lifeline from its lenders two days after a Dec. 15 voluntary bankruptcy filing.

Under the prepackaged plan of reorganization under Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code, Vewd will swap $118 million in debt as equity to its lenders. The company cited the pandemic and a shareholder dispute for its fiscal troubles.

“As we embark on our next phase of growth in a highly dynamic, fast-paced industry, it has become imperative that we boost our ability to invest into the accelerated roll-out of our new products and solutions,” Vewd CEO Aneesh Rajaram said in a statement.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

Launched in 2002, the Oslo-based company claims to embed its streaming technology on 40 million connected TVs, set-top boxes, game consoles and cars each year.

“We look forward to emerging from this process with a healthy balance sheet, empowering Vewd to continue its growth trajectory within the evolving OTT industry,” Rajaram said. “Future owners have demonstrated a clear commitment to our company’s long-term success and our mission to enable entertainment everywhere.”