From April 23 to 27, Las Vegas welcomed 52,468 registered attendees at the NAB Show, including 940 exhibitors. The attendee count was 50 percent lower than it was in 2019 (the last time it was held in person before the pandemic), and there were 41 percent fewer exhibitors than there were at the 2019 Las Vegas spring show.
Nonetheless, the show displayed its vibrancy and the television industry’s exuberance in the face of major challenges. In his welcoming address, NAB president and CEO, Curtis LeGeyt, stressed local broadcasting’s role in difficult times and outlined the four key points he seeks to address with lawmakers, noting, as his first concern, that local broadcasters lose some $2 billion per year when their content is accessed through Google and Facebook. He added that “Google and Facebook control 77 percent of locally-focused digital advertising.”
LeGeyt’s second point was that legislators “must modernize media-ownership laws to reflect the realities of the marketplace.” In translation, this could means regulating powerful social media.
Third, LeGeyt said, the U.S. communications regulatory agency, the FCC, should “reorient how it thinks about broadcast policy more broadly,” since, he said, “broadcast’s ability to function in the public interest is premised on its economic viability.”
His final point was to urge congressional support for the Local Radio Freedom Act, which opposes new performance fees on local radio stations.
However, the NAB show wasn’t just a U.S. domestic affair, as indicated by the 11,542 international attendees from 155 countries.
Indeed, Byron Allen, president of Allen Media Group, said that later this year he’s launching a Spanish-language outlet as a free streaming channel. The Group owns 27 U.S. TV stations, as well as pay-TV channels.
Other memorable moments were the 2022 Distinguished Service prize, which was awarded to former NAB president, Gordon Smith; FCC chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel sharing her view on the state of the broadcasting industry with LeGeyt; and a well-attended Streaming Summit happy hour, all pictured in the above photo collage.
The next appointment is for the NAB New York show, to be held October 19-20, 2022, while NAB Show Las Vegas 2023 is scheduled for April 15-19. The NAB Show 2023 marks the centennial celebration of the first NAB Show.