NAB President/CEO Gordon Smith said that top issue for television in the upcoming year was spectrum reallocation – specifically, in making sure that television hangs on to what it already has. On the radio side, he said performance royalties will again be the number one Washington issue. He made his remarks in the organization’s own SmartBrief publication.
On the television issue, Smith said, “For TV broadcasters, it’s clearly the issue of spectrum reallocation. Will TV broadcasters, following the transition to digital TV, be allowed to deliver on the digital promise? Will viewers have continued access to the high-quality news and entertainment they have come to expect in HDTV? Will stations be permitted to multicast several different free program streams simultaneously? Will live and local mobile DTV be given the chance to flourish? Or will broadcast spectrum be reallocated for use by broadband service providers? These are questions surfacing as part of the FCC’s National Broadband Plan.”
Moving on to the senior broadcast service, Smith commented, “On the radio side, it’s the performance fee issue. The record labels are pushing aggressively to enact legislation that would strap stations with a new fee that would seriously undermine local radio’s ability to serve listeners. That’s their proposed solution. We have to beat their bad idea with a better idea, and to continue educating Congress on the negative consequences of the RIAA proposal.”
RBR-TVBR observation: Smith gets no arguments from us. Although the reallocation issue didn’t generate much heat on the Hill during the 12/15/09 hearing on the topic, it is still very hot at the FCC. Meanwhile, the best that can be said about the PRA battle is that it is stalemated for now. Neither issue has gone away and both command front-burner status.
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