WASHINGTON, July 23, 2019 – Television broadcasters’ main bête noire used to be the cable industry, known more formally as “multichannel video programming distributors.”
But the changing media landscape is forcing the National Association of Broadcasters to look for new rivals like AT&T, Dish Networks, and “big tech.”
At a Tuesday luncheon of the Media Institute, NAB CEO Gordon Smith insisted that the broadcasting industry still has a vital role to plan in protecting the First Amendment.
In particular, telecommunications companies like AT&T (with its DirecTV division) and Dish have “exploited” distant signal licensing and failing to serve local broadcast needs.
Smith also addressed challenges that the news industry faces against social media’s rise. As it has risen, so have divisive and partisan politics, he said.
Smith went so far as to call social media a “destabilizing force” on society.
At the same time, the development of new technology means that broadcasters have new ways to share their content. They are making “great strides” to show more content on more devices.
However, he said, local broadcasters must be able to produce their content as efficiently as possible without extensive regulation, in order to compete with the “big tech” companies.
Some of these companies, he said, operate platforms that can produce “huge public consequences.” Continuing to promote the broadcasting industry is not just a matter of consumer protection, but also of public safety.
Unlike big tech, broadcast news organizations have continued providing coherent news to the public, he said. Broadcasters protect consumers from scams and help them make informed decisions.
However, telecom and satellite companies taking advantage of retransmission consent are retransmitting national news instead of providing news offered by local broadcasters.
Retransmission consent requires cable operators and other multichannel video programming distributors to obtain permission from commercial broadcasters before carrying their programming.
“Let’s stop subsidizing billion-dollar companies and make sure that people get the information that local news uniquely provides,” he said. It is important for policymakers to remember that content is expensive and that is paid for through advertising and retransmission consent.
With regard to public safety, Smith said that when “disaster strikes,” no other segment of the media industry matches the commitment of broadcasters. They will continue to be there for their communities and make sure that people obtain the “most trustworthy” and “most timely” information.
(Photo of NAB CEO Gordon Smith by Masha Abarinova.)
- Fiber Networks Hold a Cybersecurity Advantage Over Rival Co-Axial and Wireless Technologies, Say Panelists
- Increased Telework on Home Broadband Networks Leads to Surge in Cybersecurity Vulnerabilities
- Trump Preparing to Sign Executive Order Curbing Section 230 Protections for Social Media
- Broadband Roundup: Zoom Fatigue is Real, Better Internet Data, AI Apps and Healthcare
- 5G Technology Will be Multifaceted and Beneficial, Says Federal Communications Commissioner Michael O’Rielly
Signup for Broadband Breakfast
Congress3 days ago
Senators Introduce Healthcare Broadband Bill as House Companion, Proposes $2 Billion Telehealth Expansion
China4 weeks ago
China Expert Predicts that Nation’s Flawed Coronavirus Response Will Damage the Power of Chinese Communist Party
Broadband Data1 month ago
CenturyLink CTO Boasts Success in Handling Coronavirus-Induced ‘Hot’ Networks, Credits Company’s Fiber Push
Big Tech3 weeks ago
The Rise, Reign, and Self-Repair of Zoom
#broadbandlive1 month ago
Broadband Breakfast Live Online on Wednesday, April 29, 2020 – Will the Coronavirus Lead to a Loss of Privacy? Weighing Contact Tracing and Broadband Surveillance
Net Neutrality1 month ago
Public Interest Groups Blast FCC For Refusal to Extend Public Safety Deadline on Net Neutrality Comments
Rural4 weeks ago
Why the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund is So Significant, and How to Succeed in Applying For RDOF
Broadband's Impact1 month ago
Artificial Intelligence Not Very Helpful in Addressing the Coronavirus, Say Experts on Brookings Panel