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Director General's Message

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Welcome to the NABA website. We hope you will find it a source of useful information and will visit often.

The NABA membership is unique among the world’s broadcast unions as it includes a large representation of American, Canadian and Mexican national television and radio broadcasters and major suppliers of products and services to the industry. The success of NABA in representing the interests of the North American broadcast industry in international forums is dependent upon the involvement of our membership in various NABA activities. Our great strength is in the breadth of our membership. From it, we call upon a great expanse of knowledge, expertise and business interests in our deliberations.

It is an understatement to say the entire communications industry is undergoing enormous change. NABA is an indispensable forum for our members in helping to chart a course that permits our industry to take advantage of the changes in technology and regulations that enhance services to viewers and listeners while not losing sight of core broadcasting activities. The heart of NABA activity lies in the work of its committees including Technical, Legal and Safety and Security as well as numerous Task Forces and Working Groups. Their work addresses an ever-changing variety of issues in support of our members’ interests.

NABA recognizes that broadcasters share many common technical, operational and regulatory challenges and our core mission is to provide the opportunity and means, through NABA, to work on these challenges and take action as appropriate to the issues. These efforts are done to both the benefit of our members and the industry as a whole. Some of the areas that are on NABA’s to-do list are:

  • Broadcasters need to find common ground on spectrum use both today and for tomorrow; define the needs of the marketplace including; how spectrum can best serve the needs, how the consumer electronics industry can best service the requirements, and how equipment manufacturers can best provide the necessary production and operational tools.

  • Protection of existing broadcaster spectrum from interference issues from Wi-Fi, mobile devices, etc. is an important priority with the proliferation of these devices and services.

  • Levelling the regulatory playing field between broadcasters who carry huge content and service obligations that engender huge costs compared to telecoms and mobile services that have few obligations and very little cost beyond the initial capital expense.

  • Increasingly NABA needs to define their requirements for delivery and display on all platforms and it goes without saying that setting down the best operating practises and production standards for multi-platform delivery must be central to NABA’s work in future years. Growing audiences for mobile reception of broadcaster content will challenge broadcasters on how to change their content for those audiences to efficiently and effectively meet the needs and expectations of the mobile viewer.

  • In a multi-platform world the ongoing need for vigilance on intellectual property and copy protection needs to be monitored with interventions at the appropriate time and place. This includes work at the World Intellectual Property Organization (with other Broadcast Unions) on such initiatives as the Broadcaster Treaty and the Audiovisual Performers Treaty. Content creation and distribution is at the core of any business model for a broadcaster and that content is the most cherished resource and demands to be protected as such. Without those protections the broadcast economic engine is at peril.

  • As noted earlier many NABA member companies are integrated content producers; terrestrial, cable and satellite broadcasters and distributors. The NABA of the future needs to see this integration as a strength and draw from the cross platform expertise that resides in our membership to bring leadership on these questions and issues not only in North America but around the world through the World Broadcast Unions and the many international markets where North American companies are a key component.

What happens to the broadcasting/content business in North America matters to the rest of the world. The trends in broadcasting; content production, distribution and the business models which sustain these enterprises in North America will eventually be replicated around the world. Out of this crucible of change NABA has a special responsibility to show leadership on these matters.


Michael McEwen
Director General, NABA

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