Last week was the annual National Association of Broadcasters show in Las Vegas. I was fortunate enough to attend, and having finally accustomed to Eastern Standard Time, here are my thoughts:
* Every regulator needs to attend these trade shows, which represent market forces working to meet whatever needs or perceived needs exist. I was truly overwhelmed by the smart people in the electronic media industry.
* Most broadcast industry reps are free speech proponents and against broadcast indecency regulation. The National Association of Broadcasters Education Foundation (NABEF) announced the creation of National Freedom of Speech Week from October 17-23, 2005.
* Digital TV transition is still a mess. The congressional breakfast featured Sen. Conrad Burns, Rep. Joe Barton, and Rep. Fred Upton among others. Barton and Upton advocated for a hard cutoff date, something needed or else the broadcasters will never return the analog spectrum.
* IPTV is coming soon. Very soon. Microsoft displayed its version of a set top box for connecting a TV to a broadband modem. Other manufacturers are creating the equipment for transmitting video over DSL.
* Advertisers are not happy with broadcast TV. They are looking for mediums that target specific demographic and geographic audiences. In this way, a more fragmented media market is an opportunity to tailor network programming and advertising to the audience.
* High definition (HD) radio is hot. Digital transmissions of broadcast radio could help it compete against satellite radio.
Overall, a physically tiring but mentally energizing show.