CEA chief: Broadcasters bullying Congress over spectrum issue

The heated wireless spectrum tug-of-war between broadcasters and the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) has to warm the hearts of cable operators. After all, if the CEA is distracted by broadcasters it can't be inserting burrs under every cable process. On the other hand, if broadcasters end up losing the spectrum it could have a chilling effect on cable.

The spat is clear-cut. The FCC has suggested taking back some broadcast spectrum for future wireless applications. The CEA, which loves to sell new products, sees a huge market for wireless devices; broadcasters, who count on the spectrum for their own services, including a steady push towards mobile digital television (mobile DTV) see things differently and are not afraid to flex their flabby but still significant muscles in the right places.

"The broadcasters are a phenomenal political lobby and they have terrified members of Congress with their ability to use their broadcast signal in a way that demonizes the members," Gary Shapiro, CEA president said during a visit to cable's C-SPAN. "The broadcasters are going to come out swinging and saying this is bad, but ultimately there's going to be a resolution."

For more:
- The Hill has this story

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