Advocacy group calls CEA’s message to TV arrogant


WatchdogsThe Advanced Television Broadcasting Alliance says that rather than trying to sweep television broadcasters off of the airwaves, the CEA should be helping them advance the interests of consumers by supporting advanced television technologies.

CEA’s Gary Shapiro admonished NAB’s Gordon Smith for appearing cool to the idea of television broadcasters abandoning their spectrum to clear the way for mobile broadband services. ATBA said Shapiro’s remarks bordered on arrogance.

Alliance Chairman Irwin Podhajser said, “We applaud the NAB. They understand, as we do, that it is not in the best interest of broadcasters and the American public that a couple of wireless monopolies get control of the broadcast airwaves. It will lead to less competition, less diversity and less jobs. There is simply a better way that will bring broadcasting into the future, create more choices for consumers and solve the wireless broadband crunch without handing control of the free airwaves over to a couple of wireless companies.”

ATBA is promoting what it calls the Broadcast Overlay Plan, which will provide a continuing role for television going forward and provide a more efficient use of spectrum than relying solely on mobile’s inefficient one-to-one model.

Sinclair’s Mark Aitken, said to be the architect of the Overlay plan, commented, “Mr. Shapiro, in putting the wireless carriers in front of broadcasters, not only fails in his vision for the future of the CEA’s membership, but has lost sight of the singular role the TV broadcast industry played in making HDTV and television his industry’s product roadmap for more than a decade. If Shapiro decided to work with broadcasters and help bring our vision of a ‘Broadcast Overlay’ and new TV platform to reality, he could participate in the next decade of revolution for his membership, and actually solve the bandwidth crunch of the carriers. It’s time to work together…again.”