Opinion

Lobbying for the MENA broadcast industry

Vijaya Cherian, Editorial Director.

NAB CEO Gordon Smith’s speech at the opening ceremony got me thinking on how much of an influencer the organisation is, the respect it enjoys within the media’s creative and tech communities – and simultaneously, the power it wields with policy-makers. This entity does not just serve as an exhibition centre with an adjoining conference.

Whether it is educating policymakers and broadcasters about moving to Next-Gen TV, which promises broadcasters some excellent benefits in terms of UHD TV, interactive features and customisable content; or trying to persuade the likes of Apple to activate the FM feature on handsets; working closely with automotive manufacturers on improving radio technology in cars; and even fighting record labels for trying to tax radio stations playing their music, NAB seems to be on top of it.

With the new mandate in the US, where TV channels have a much smaller spectrum to work with, the migration to ATSC 3.0 seems inevitable and was therefore a hot topic at NAB. A lot of manufacturers and solution providers had come prepared to talk to broadcasters about this.

I was just fascinated by how an organisation such as NAB has actively used its power to advance the interests of radio and TV within legislative and regulatory circles. We desperately require such an authority – one that does not just regulate us all the time, but stands on the side of the media and serves as a liaison between broadcasters and government authorities. We require a go-to entity that serves our interests, for the larger good of the broadcast community. Our piracy conference held on May 2 gave us a glimpse into why such an authority would be crucial for the MENA broadcast industry.

Also view: The May 2018 BroadcastPro ME print edition

The inaugural anti-piracy conference