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Script competition

PactUS, NPA join forces

US indie bodies PactUS and the Nonfiction Producers Association (NPA) have merged in what has been labelled an “unprecedented show of solidarity.”

John Ford

The two trade organisations serve the producers of non-fiction entertainment content and have combined to form a new group called NPACT.

It has offices in New York, LA and Washington and includes 99 member companies that NPACT claimed “collectively produce the vast majority of all non-fiction content for US broadcast, cable television and digital platforms.”

NPACT said the merging of the two organisations “signifies the unity and strength of the non-fiction content production business.”

NPACT’s members include All3Media America, Bunim/Murray Productions, Endemol Shine North America and FremantleMedia North America, as well as ITV America, Renegade 83, Truly Original and 3 Ball Entertainment.

Programming ranges from American Idol and Pawn Stars to The Real Housewives of Atlanta and Born This Way.

NPACT said it will continue to “tackle challenges producers face in an age of media disruption” and help them expand businesses while addressing critical business issues.

David Lyle

As part of the merger, NPACT will have an ongoing relationship with Pact in the UK, collaborating on joint projects and aiding each other in addressing producers’ challenges globally.

John Ford, who has served as general manager of the NPA since 2015, will become general manager of NPACT. David Lyle, who has served as president of PactUS since it was launched in 2015, will work with NPACT as president emeritus.

Ford said: “It is simply unparalleled in our business for a group of competitors at this high level of achievement to band together for the longevity, vitality and greater good of an industry.

“We face a looming crisis in keeping unscripted production companies healthy, one we can only address by coming together with a unified voice.”

Lyle added: “Combining PactUS and the NPA into one powerhouse organisation offers a tremendous combination of resources and talents, and serves as a turning point that is key to helping preserve, propel and expand the non-fiction content business.

“The new NPACT represents the maverick spirit of creativity and entrepreneurship – the core DNA of unscripted – and will allow us to achieve our mutual goals so much faster.”

NPACT will continue to offer membership to non-fiction production companies in North America, as well as sole proprietors, individual executive producers and showrunners who have established their own labels.

Leading executives told C21 earlier this year that the US independent production sector is close to collapse as networks squeeze producers to breaking point.

Development expenses and multiple layers of management were cited as reasons for ballooning costs for indies, prompting producers to call for change.

Broadcast execs including Marc Graboff, president of global business and legal affairs, production management and studios at Discovery Communications, defended the networks, adding that he would consider sharing rights with indies.

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