New coalition seeks to protect broadcast TV

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"Broadcasters are just now unveiling the new innovative services made possible by the DTV transition, which has enabled the promotion of more community voices on local television," NAB president Gordon Smith said.

"The members of this coalition understand the importance and benefit of preserving this expansion of consumer choice on television."

The public's growing appetite for mobile means more spectrum must be made available for wireless carriers, with many stakeholders pointing to the sizable chunk of the airwaves held by broadcasters as a potential source. 

The deficit reduction supercommittee is under pressure to authorize spectrum auctions as part of any debt deal, but the broadcasters are firmly against any auctions that aren't completely voluntary.

They note the demand for bandwidth is driven primarily by streaming online video, which they say would be more effectively transmitted via the broadcast network, which is designed to reach a large number of users.

Some supercommittee members have also suggested the government should reliquish some of its spectrum as part of any deal.