Originally published: July 28, 2011
Last updated: July 29, 2011 - 8:22am
The National Association of Broadcasters is cranking up its grassroots lobbying machine out of concern that Congress may vote on a debt reduction package this week that will grant the Federal Communications Commission authority to conduct incentive auctions of broadcast TV spectrum without adequate protections for broadcasters who choose not to participate in the auctions.
"It’s all hands on deck for us,” says NAB spokesman Dennis Wharton. "We think this is about as big a threat as there is in terms of the future of our business. We have one chance to get this right."
The focus of NAB's concern is the debt reduction plan authored by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV). Reid’s proposal, like the pending Senate bill (S.911), would permit the FCC to conduct incentive auctions of TV spectrum and share the proceeds with broadcasters who give up spectrum. But Reid’s proposal is worrisome because, unlike S. 911, it does not contain any "replication or interference protections" for local TV stations that chose not to relinquish their spectrum, according to industry sources familiar with the plan.
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