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Panasonic "Smart" TV Threatens Japanese Broadcasters:
Imagine How NAB Feels?

Today’s Japan Times has an article from AFP-Jiji (a joint venture between the French wire service and a Japanese one). It begins:

Panasonic says Japanese TV stations are refusing to air commercials for its new “smart” television, apparently because they feel threatened by its combined TV-Internet function.

Private broadcasters, in a rare case of turning down a major advertiser, have said they will not show commercials for the product, claiming the split screen simultaneously showing broadcast content and Web pages may confuse viewers, according to reports.

“IPTV, or smart television, is a new area of service, and we are in talks to create new rules for broadcasting,” Panasonic said Monday in a statement. “We refrain from making further comments.”

As TV viewership declines and a growing number of younger “zero TV” households don’t even have a TV, the US broadcast establishment must not be thrilled about TV sets that blur the line between broadcast video and IPTV. Would US broadcasters go as far as their Japanese counterparts did and refuse the ads? Would FCC permit such action?

It is a brave new world for broadcasters who don’t sell out to the incentive auction and take their money and run. Soon such TVs will come to the US in quantity.
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