Photography courtesy of Robb Cohen Photography and Video and Megan Reed of Inside Towers
John F. Kennedy said, “Change is the law of life.” That’s certainly true of broadcasting, said NAB President/CEO Gordon Smith as he opened NAB2017 in Las Vegas. Though the devices consumers use to access their video and audio content continue to evolve, broadcasters remain committed to serving their communities, yet also continue to innovate, he said.
“From mixed reality, to autonomous cars and the future of cinema, we are witnessing the convergence of media, entertainment and technology that is enriching all of our lives. Broadcasters have been at the core of this ever-changing landscape, bringing together all of these dynamic partners to deliver content consumers seek anytime, anywhere,” said Smith.
Americans also get the information they need from stations’ websites, digital apps and social media pages. Indeed, the rise of IP distribution is rapidly changing broadcasting. “We have a one-to-many architecture that is the envy of other media platforms,” noted Smith.
“In fact, TV stations turned down $38 billion during the recent spectrum incentive auction, choosing to keep their channels, compared to speculators and wireless companies that paid $19 billion for a portion of the TV band. I think we now know what the highest and best use of spectrum is.”
Broadcasters can leverage the combination of its local strengths, combined with new tech like IP distribution and greater connectivity to grow stronger. The FCC is “carefully considering” NAB’s request that broadcasters be permitted to voluntarily adopt Next Gen TV – just as the wireless industry is allowed to move from 3G to 4G to 5G, as technology improves. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has said he hopes the Commission can issue a final authorization of the standard later this year.
NAB and the radio industry have also worked to promote FM access in smartphones; nearly all models are now made with chips to receive free FM signals. Not all of these chips are activated and NAB’s work to persuade U.S. carriers like Sprint, AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon is paying off. NAB continues to try to persuade Apple to come on board as well.
April 25, 2017