MSTV To Be Folded Into NAB

The National Association of Broadcasters Board has voted to merge the
Association for Maximium Service Television (MSTV) into the
organization, the association said Wednesday.

The NAB's TV Board had previously voted to approve the merger.

has focused its lobbying on spectrum issues. Spectrum reclamation and
the government's push for broadcast spectrum is one of a couple of
central issues in NAB's TV lobbying efforts, retransmission consent
being the other.

In the release announcing the planned merger, NAB said that "broadcast spectrum protection and technology policy advocacy will be continued under the consolidated leadership of NAB President and CEO Gordon Smith." An NAB spokesman would not comment on personnel issues, but MSTV President David Donovan confirmed he would be exiting after advising with the transition. "There are opportunities out there and I will be pursuing them," Donovan told B&C. "But this [merger] is a good thing for the broadcast industry," he said. "It centralizes the functions of technology and lobbying, and it makes a lot of sense." NAB is also reportedly looking for a chief technology officer as its lobbying, of necessity, melds more with the technical aspects of the business.

Donovan would not speculate on how long it would take to wrap things up at MSTV, but said the goal was to "expedite the process." But he also wanted to emphasize that the work of MSTV would continue under NAB. "The function of the MSTV engineering committee, which has been very important to establishing technical policy, will continue under NAB," he said.

MSTV was launched in 1956 with the charter to "battle to insure the
highest quality television reception by preventing interference on
additional television channels."

Among its credits
MSTV helped secure passage of the All-Channel Reciever Act, which
required TV sets to receive UHF as well as VHF signals (before that it
required a separate tuner). MSTV also was instrumental in the DTV
transition, including helping convince the government early on to retain
UHF channels for advanced services. That was crucial to the transition
since UHF is a superior band for DTV transmissions, something
broadcasters are emphasizing now as the government eyes UHF for wireless

But MSTV had less success in derailing an FCC effort to open up the
so-called white spaces between TV signals to unlicensed devices. The FCC
eventually adopted the order opening up TV spectrum to such sharing,
though the commission did agree to require a database registry that
unlicensed devices could access in real time to try and identify unused
channels, and thus protect those being used. 

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.