With the FCC considering new regulations, the broadcast industry's trade group is launching an ad campaign to forestall any government action it deems harmful. The National Association of Broadcasters will debut the campaign that promotes broadcast TV's vitality and potential next month.
The NAB, which represents TV and radio broadcasters, has prepared 30-second TV and radio ads asking its members to clear inventory and run them gratis. That includes asking radio stations to air spots for TV stations they compete with for ad dollars.
The ads ask with a rhyme: "The future of broadcast TV? It's HD, 3D, mobile TV, technology, not regulation from Washington, D.C." The spot also promotes broadcasters' roles in providing local news, and mobile emergency alerts.
The NAB is hoping to get the attention of lawmakers as the FCC considers regulations on the increasingly contentious "retransmission consent" negotiations between TV stations and cable/satellite/telco TV operators.
Also, the FCC could move to reclaim broadcast spectrum to be used for wireless and broadband initiatives.
For companies such as CBS and Univision, which each have TV and radio stations, it makes sense that their radio outlets would run the pro-TV spots. But would independently owned radio stations? Maybe payback is in order. An NAB spokesman said some TV stations with no skin in the game ran spots earlier this year as Congress considered a bill that would make radio outlets paying another stream of royalties for songs played.
The NAB is making the spots available to members in January, a time of year when ad sales tend to be light. The ads are in English and Spanish.