There are always issues involving broadcasters percolating away on Capitol Hill, even when there aren’t any as yet inked into the hearing or legislative schedule. So it’s good to see the NAB maintaining a presence with another posting of a fully-interactive ad in one of Congress’s main newspapers.
The informative piece is called “We Are Broadcasters” and states it message right up front: “Every day of every year, local TV and radio stations are there – delivering the breaking news and emergency information you rely on, providing the music and shows that you love most.”
It continues, “America’s broadcasters are a vital part of every community in the nation. Providing a free service to everyone is just the beginning. As one of the nation’s largest public service providers, local TV and radio stations donate immense resources – on and off air – to raise money for charities and help their neighbors.”
Among the many features are a set of informative tabs including:
* Who We Are
* First Informers
* Most Trusted News Source
* Helping Communities
* Innovating for the Future
* Serving America
There are also a trio of interactive features:
* Documenting History: Get broadcasters’ account of history’s biggest moments with an interactive timeline.
* Serving America: View a map to learn about broadcasters economic and public service impact.
* Always On. Always There. In times of emergency and natural disasters, broadcasters are America’s first informers.
RBR-TVBR observation: When you stop to think about it, it’s amazing that unlike almost all other first responder functions, the vital communication aspect is not handled by a government agency but by an industry made up of normal profit-seeking businesses.
Broadcasters not only keep the public informed, providing life-saving information, they actually cut off their own revenue stream to do so.
We’re always amazed when MVPDs attack broadcasters for seeking too much money when in fact they are not even close to receiving retransmission rates that are in line with their viewership, compared to most cable-only channels.
On top of that, it is the local broadcast community that is generally the sole provider of local emergency information, not to mention local news and public affairs programming. At the local level, MVPD operators can do little more than install and administrate their service, and are famous from coast to coast for doing so in a highly inefficient manner.
As far as we’re concerned, MVPDs can start complaining about the cost of retransmission when they start bearing the cost of providing local news and emergency information. Until that time, the moral high ground is the exclusive domain of the broadcast side of the debate.