Witnesses named for Senate TV hearing


Susan WhitingWe knew that the Senate Commerce Committee was planning to look into the future of television, and now we know who the witnesses will be. And if you attend the proceedings hoping to hear what a broadcast operator or trade group has to say about the future of television, don’t hold your breath. The closest you’ll get is a ratings executive: Nielsen’s Susan Whiting.

“The Emergence of Online Video: Is It The Future?” is the name of the session, and it’s on the calendar for Tuesday 4/24/12 at 10AM.

“Everything about television is changing,” said Chairman Rockefeller.  “People are watching all sorts of programs on an assortment of platforms, at different times of the day or night and without the traditional boundaries of television channels. The digital age is fusing the television screen with the computer screen and it’s important to explore this topic.  I want to focus this hearing on what these changes mean for consumers, especially in rural areas, and if this evolution of video can bring them higher quality content at lower rates.”

And the witnesses are:
* Mr. Barry Diller, Chairman and Senior Executive, IAC
* Ms. Susan Whiting, Vice Chairman, The Nielsen Company
* Mr. Paul Misener, Vice President for Global Public Policy, Amazon.com
* Mr. Blair Westlake, Corporate Vice President, Media & Entertainment Group, Microsoft Corporation

RBR-TVBR observation: Broadcasters are just learning how to put their new digital plants to effective use, and as one innovation leads to another, we can expect to see a rapidly accelerating growth curve. In short, broadcasters have a story to tell and a role in the future – you’d think that this Committee would make them part of each and every conversation on the topic.