National Association of Broadcasters president and CEO Gordon Smith told the industry crowd at the NAB Show in Las Vegas today to beware of broadcasters’ wireless rivals while touting the lobbying group’s legislative victories over the past year. Smith, giving the State of the Industry address this morning, warned that telecommunications companies who have been grabbing spectrum for mobile TV services will be seeking more. “They want us out of this game,” he said in his prepared remarks. “We can’t let down our guard.” In another major part of Smith’s keynote, he cited NAB’s efforts to help knock down the Performance Rights Act and shape spectrum laws that benefited broadcasters, calling the wins “game-changers” that “elevated the stature of NAB in Washington.” Said Smith: “We averted a spectrum grab from misguided friends who would have you believe that broadcasting is yesterday’s technology.”
Smith also said the organization will fight to maintain the current retransmission-consent rules, saying of the system if it’s not broke, don’t fix it. “Stations deserve to be allowed to negotiate for compensation of their highly valued programming,” he said. “Unfortunately, some cable and satellite companies don’t want to pay a fair rate for the signals of local stations.” He also urged his constituents to “aggressively” push mobile — like broadcasters’ “smart” competitors — and ultra HD. “Delivering live, local and national news, sports and our great shows to viewers on the go — this is where our business is going.”
Smith said the NAB Show confab, which kicked off Friday and runs through Thursday, has attracted more than 90,000 attendees.