Tech industry, broadcasters spar over popularity

The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) and the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) are reprising their feud over use of the airwaves this week in the form of a popularity contest. 

CEA released a poll on Monday that said Americans support spectrum auctions by a 6-to-1 margin. 

The poll also said that only 10 percent of Americans get breaking news from over-the-air broadcasts, in comparison to 38 percent who rely on Internet news sites.

The tech industry poll, conducted by Zogby and the PR agency for CEA 463 Communications, is timed to the broadcasters' annual show in Las Vegas. 

NAB was quick to push back on the findings. 

NAB spokesman Dennis Wharton said that every survey, other than those funded by CEA, "finds that most Americans continue to rely on broadcasting as their primary source for news."

"CEA apparently is not aware that the number of broadcast TV viewers is growing, not shrinking, as evidenced by the surge in pay TV cord-cutters," Wharton said.

The issue heads to the House Energy and Commerce's communications subcommittee on Tuesday, where Chairman Greg Walden (R-Ore.) will hold his first hearing on spectrum.