NAB: Technology, Policy Dominate NBC Affiliates Board Confab

Complete Coverage: NAB Show 2014

The day before, NBC presented its TV Everywhere product to a mass of affiliates. On April 8, the affiliates board met to talk about, among other things, questions popping up related to the on-the-go app concerning logistics, cost and other aspects. Jordan Wertlieb, NBC affiliates board chairman, reiterated that the network’s TV Everywhere initiative is a win for affiliates. Having the option of inserting local avails in the VOD stream, he said, was “transformative for the business.” The product offers both a live stream and on-demand functionality.

The board assembled a list of questions, including those about TV Everywhere and concerns affiliates have on the pending merger of NBC parent Comcast and Time Warner Cable, to present to the network. Among the anxieties related to an expanding Comcast footprint is keeping “major events” on broadcast TV, said Wertlieb, president of Hearst TV.

Technology and policy dominated the meeting at the Encore. Gordon Smith, NAB president and CEO, addressed the assembly, as he had with other affiliate boards. “The dialogue there was good,” said Wertlieb.

There was less of a focus on programming, including primetime.

Wertlieb said the board is enthused by NBC’s TV Everywhere initiative, which he noted was “overwhelmingly accepted” a day before by the affiliates body. Yet, it’s a complicated product in terms of rights, technology and authentication. “It’s a process that will take a little while to get done,” said the chairman.

Michael Malone

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.