NAB takes spectrum defense public


With the saliva glands of the broadband-obsessed FCC and other federal agencies apparently shifting into fifth gear every time they catch a glimpse of television spectrum, the National Association of Broadcasters is making the case for full-service, full-spectrum digital television directly to the American public.

To that end, it has delivered 30-second spots in English and Spanish to local television stations all over America, to be run throughout the month.

NAB’s Dennis Wharton explained, “Following NAB’s historic campaign to educate Americans on the benefits of the government-mandated digital TV transition, we feel it is equally important to ensure our viewers are aware of proposals in Washington now aimed at limiting free and local DTV service. We remain committed to a dialogue with policymakers and legislators on how to best serve the needs of the American people for fast Internet access without jeopardizing digital TV’s promised potential for millions of TV viewers.”

The spot is available in both high- and standard-definition formats. The script reads, “It’s our connection to our community. It’s our lifeline to the emergency information we need. It’s a free service that provides free entertainment. But one day soon, it could be taken away. There’s a movement among special interest groups to limit free antenna TV, and millions of Americans who depend on it would lose out. Always free, always local. Let’s tell Congress to keep free antenna TV as part of our communications future.”

RBR-TVBR observation: Disrupting OTA digital television in its infancy is incredibly short-sighted, not to mention anti-competitive. The increased capability digital provides to local broadcasters has created a trend in Europe away from MVPDs and back to local broadcasters for many viewers. Broadcasters have made an expensive digital investment – they deserve a chance to develop it.