Taking a page from cable, NAB and CEA at loggerheads

The cable industry isn't alone when it comes to internecine warfare. The usually joined-at-the-hip National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) and Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) are at loggerheads over the value of over-the-air television.

What makes this dispute somewhat remarkable is that broadcasters and television makers--like cable programmers and service providers--are more than a little interdependent. Nevertheless, the CEA has publicly supported the idea of curtailing over-the-air broadcasting while NAB thinks everything's just fine the way it is.

Numbers-wise, the CEA says that less than 10 percent of U.S. households get TV over-the-air and the NAB says that that 14 percent get TV over-the-air with more coming aboard all the time.

TV, of course, isn't really at the heart of the matter. The CEA has long sided with the wireless industry in the demand for more bandwidth--and if that bandwidth has to come from broadcasters, so be it.

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