IBC2007: CEA’s Shapiro Touts Over-the-Air Delivery

Amsterdam, Netherlands -- Consumer Electronics Association president and CEO Gary Shapiro traveled to IBC2007 here to urge European broadcasters to take full advantage of their ubiquitous coverage to deliver new digital services to consumers.

In a keynote address Friday, Shapiro discussed the increased convergence between the content industry and consumer-electronics devices and warned broadcasters that they need to be aggressive in order to maintain their existing relationship with consumers.

“Broadcasters no longer enjoy a monopoly on content delivery,” said Shapiro, who pointed to industry research indicating that one-half of Europeans regularly watch television content on the Internet.

But broadcasters still have “the highest-quality spectrum,” he added, and “a connection to the community” through local news and sports programming. The trick to surviving in the multiplatform world, he said, is to maintain a high level of local content production while understanding consumer trends and adapting to consumer demands -- which may mean pumping more content into mobile- and broadband-delivery channels.

Shapiro cited the efforts by both European and U.S. broadcasters to provide mobile-TV services through their digital spectrum as an example of the proactive thinking that is required to ensure broadcasters' future survival.

“It’s the same content and the same spectrum, but more applications and more eyes,” he added.