CEA's Gary Shapiro Rips Broadcasters For Using D.C. To Thwart Innovation
April 23, 2013 at 4:22 AM (PT)
CONSUMER ELECTRONICS ASSOCIATION Pres./CEO GARY SHAPIRO had some sharp words for broadcasters in a speech he delivered at the MEDIA INSTITUTE in WASHINGTON MONDAY (4/22).
Introducing the CEA's "15th Annual Household CE Ownership and Market Potential Study" and continuing his themes of "ninja innovation" and "Innovate or Die," SHAPIRO criticized the broadcasting industry for trying to block spectrum incentive auctions ("first claiming against all credible evidence that there is no spectrum crisis, and then insisting that a complete spectrum inventory be performed prior to passage of any auction legislation ... Now, broadcasters appear to be employing every possible strategy to slow walk the auctions"), and alleging that broadcasters are trying to "distort and restrict other industries’ business models in a vain, and futile, and certainly costly effort to preserve their own."
"I can give many instances where the broadcasters tried to or actually thwarted or stalled technological innovation. They push mandates, like a FM chip in cell phones, or tuners in TVs, or must-carry on cable, or banning of devices or new payments on others and no payments by them to copyright owners. Their message is clear: As long as existing broadcasters have their piece of the pie, there’s no need to care about everyone else. To which I respond, Innovate or Die.
"I believe that as long as broadcasters are using public spectrum for their eight-year terms, policy makers should resist broadcaster calls for burdening others. The broadcast industry must innovate rather than their government ties burden others. Relying on more government regulation to maintain a government-mandated advantage against other industries is not a ninja strategy."
SHAPIRO advised broadcasters to "stop relying on WASHINGTON to protect it. Instead, it
should work to free itself from the government strings that hinder its ability to compete with cable, satellite and the Internet. Remove all the content restrictions, programming requirements, retransmission mandates, and costly requirements imposed by bureaucracy. Above all, it’s time for the broadcasting industry to accept the fact that it’s not 1955 anymore, and it’s time to enter the 21st century. If they cut their ties with the government, they might finally learn the truth behind the phrase 'innovate or die.'"