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.)
- Panelists Debate Federal Role in Digital Privacy, But Agree Upon Need to Minimize Algorithmic Bias
- FCC ‘Coloring Outside the Lines’ on Broadband Mapping, Say Critics at Next Century Cities Event
- Broadband Advocates at Next Century Cities Emphasize Importance of Building Community Networks
- Advocates for Digital Inclusion Address Different Facets of Bridging the Digital Divide
- New America Highlights the Broadband Prices Available on Ammon, Idaho’s Open Access Network
Signup for Broadband Breakfast
Open Access4 weeks ago
UTOPIA Fiber: A Model Open-Access Network
China2 months ago
Prakash Sangam: China’s Huawei Clones Are Greater Threat to National Security than Huawei
Broadband Mapping & Data3 months ago
Broadband Data From Providers Needs to be Checked With Data From Users, Say Panelists at Mapping Event
Open Access3 months ago
UTOPIA Fiber Announces Partnerships with Morgan, Utah, Idaho Falls, and Other Cities
FCC1 month ago
Telephony Industry Rises to the Challenge of Robocalls, With Legislation, Regulation and Enforcement Close Behind
Education3 months ago
State Educational Technology Officials Say Better Broadband Necessary for Pedagogy and Equity
FCC Workshops2 weeks ago
Indian Tribes Will Have Six-Month Window of Opportunity to Apply for Former EBS Spectrum at 2.5 GigaHertz
FCC2 months ago
As Next Year’s C-Band Auction Looms, FCC Officials Reflect on Innovation in Spectrum Auctions