NAB's Performance Fee Position Slammed In Letter To Congress
November 18, 2011 at 3:48 AM (PT)
Four music industry groups have banded together, and sent a letter to Congress' Deficit Reduction Supercommittee, claiming the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF BROADCASTERS is resisting incentive spectrum auctions.
THE HILL reports, "THE AMERICAN FEDERATION OF MUSICIANS, THE RECORDING ACADEMY, SOUNDEXCHANGE and THE MUSIC MANAGERS FORUM wrote that they 'strongly support' empowering the FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION to hold incentive auctions of spectrum currently used by television broadcasters. The auctions would raise billions of dollars in revenue for deficit reduction and free up spectrum for wireless broadband devices. The program would be voluntary, and the government would split some of the revenue with the participating stations."
"Given the NAB opposition to radio broadcasters paying their fair share owed to artists for their work, it requires turning a blind eye to irony to embrace the NAB's position that they shouldn't pay their own business costs," the groups wrote in their letter. "It’s like a bank robber complaining about his ATM fees."
"It would seem to us that the NAB is not entitled to spectrum owned by the public, or costs associated with relinquishing it, and the federal government reclaiming this spectrum for purposes of deficit reduction is the kind of shared sacrifice that is required in these difficult times," the letter continued.
NAB EVP DENNIS WHARTON responded, "By coupling a TV spectrum issue with an unrelated performance tax on radio stations, the music industry sets the standard for grasping at straws. This is a Hail Mary pass that deserves to fall incomplete."