Harker: Did NAB Agree To Radio Royalty Compromise To Save TV Spectrum?
April 26, 2011 at 11:18 AM (PT)
In their latest posting on the RadioInsights blog, HARKER RESEARCH analysts GLENDA SHRADER BOS and RICHARD HARKER speculate that the NAB's compromise offer for a performance royalty -- made at a time when a majority of House members signed onto a resolution against a royalty -- could be a sign that NAB threw radio under the bus to protect the interests of the TV membership.
The two cite excerpts from NAB CEO GORDON SMITH's keynote address at the group's most recent convention, where he claimed that the NAB's compromise stopped the inevitable passage of a performance royalty bill while the group battles the Net interests over spectrum allocation.
"SMITH, a former Senator, is a deal maker. He knows that in WASHINGTON you give up something to get something," they wrote. "The NAB’s influence is fading. The much more powerful Internet and telecom industries want the idle television spectrum space, and SMITH needs all the friends in Congress he can find.
"Radio is pretty small potatoes for the NAB. A business that generates $17 billion in revenue isn’t going to get the help that a $65 billion industry like television gets.
"So perhaps SMITH decided that throwing radio under the bus by making a deal with the RIAA could win a few Congressional votes opposing the spectrum give-back. It is a lot easier for Congress to protect television after it can claim it secured millions of dollars for poor starving musicians.
The performance tax might cost radio a few hundred million dollars, but the television spectrum is worth billions."
Read the entire post here.