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NAB rallies the troops for spectrum fight

The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) is recruiting its member stations to help fight the FCC's efforts to reclaim some of the broadcast TV spectrum for wireless broadband use.

In an e-mail sent out last Friday, the NAB's leadership (led by NAB president Gordon Smith) urged stations to air a 30-second TV spot over the Christmas holidays and up until mid-January (produced by the NAB) that promotes the value of the spectrum to free over-the-air television service. They claim ceding spectrum to wireless carriers and telcos would mean lower quality TV for consumers.

The NAB recommends airing the spot to “help position the spectrum issue in a pro-broadcaster, pro-consumer light” in order to fight those (e.g., wireless and telcos) that are “attempting to position a national broadband plan as having no potential drawbacks.”

The e-mail also says, “The broadcast industry could see the greatest assault on the public airwaves since the 1980s, with the anticipated release of the FCC's National Broadband Plan set for Feb. 17, 2010.”

Supporting its lobbying efforts in Washington, D.C., the NAB told its members, “We need your help. Broadcasters must push back and frame the issue in the public's continuing interest of free-over-the-air broadcasting in every local community in America.”

The House Energy & Commerce Committee Communications Subcommittee is holding hearings this week on the spectrum issue.