Broadcasters cite trillion-dollar impact of local TV, radio

Broadcasters want it both ways. When seeking higher retransmission consent fees from service providers, they whine that business is bad; when urging the FCC to reconsider plucking away more of their spectrum, they claim business is so good that commercial television and radio accounted for $1.17 trillion (yes, that's with a T) to the nation's Gross Domestic Product in 2010.

A report compiled by the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) also claims that the industry accounted for 2.5 million jobs--including those in peripheral spaces like advertising, telecommunications (can you say cable?), public utilities, manufacturing and retail. Of course direct jobs were only 305,230--but who's counting.

The purpose of the statistical onslaught, prepared by Woods & Poole Economics, is to prove to the FCC that over-the-air television is so vibrant and important to the nation's economy that the spectrum it runs on is sacrosanct.

"Decision makers now debating spectrum politics need to be cognizant of the millions of people and thousands of businesses reliant on the unparalleled impact of local TV and radio for economic survival," NAB boss Gordon Smith summed up.

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