NAB: Deregulating Broadcasters Is Key to Competing with Big Tech

Big Tech icons on iPhone screen
(Image credit: Denis Charlet/AFP via Getty Images)

Leveling the playing field with Big Tech is a big policy prerogative for broadcasters according to the National Association of Broadcasters’ most recent policy agenda (opens in new tab).

NAB said the dominance of edge provider platforms threatens a free press and broadcasters’ local journalism efforts.

NAB‘s principal beef with Big Tech is that they are the gatekeepers to platforms that broadcasters' content must be available on if they are to remain relevant, but that those same platforms have drained ad dollars from broadcasters while simultaneously undervaluing broadcast content with “take it or leave it” compensation offers.

“Local journalism is now at risk due to this unchecked competitive power held by a handful of dominant digital players,” NAB said. “[B]roadcasters continue to be subject to outdated rules restricting their scale and scope, making it even more difficult to compete with digital behemoths, which are allowed unregulated and unfettered growth.”

NAB said the help it needs from Washington is broadcast ownership deregulation and a break on the regulatory fees the FCC assesses on them but not on its Big Tech competition. ■

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.