NAB Chief Says Stations’ Mobile Technology Dreams Require More Local Programming

NAB chief Gordon Smith told station owners today that they must redouble their efforts to persuade tech companies to build TV and radio receivers into smartphones and other mobile devices. Internet streaming services “will never have what we have — the ability to deliver our high quality content reliably,” Smith said in his keynote speech at the NAB confab in Las Vegas. But he adds that broadcasters who want to beam signals directly to mobile devices  “must continue to rise up to meet consumer’s desire for more live, local TV content.” He added that stations should “seriously consider the challenges and opportunities of moving to a new standard” that would enable them to “compete in a mobile world, and find new revenue streams.” Hurricane Sandy helped to make a case for adding radio to mobile devices. “Up and down the Eastern seaboard, we heard stories of cell networks and broadband connections being down for days, even weeks. But radio was always on.” Even so, Smith says that radio stations “can’t take their place in the [automobile] dashboard for granted. We must continue to innovate and provide the content listeners want on many different platforms.”

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