During the debate over a proposal to require an FM-chip in cellphones, he famously declared:
Rather than adapt to the digital marketplace, NAB and RIAA act like buggy-whip industries that refuse to innovate and seek to impose penalties on those that do.
Calls for an FM chip mandate are not about public safety but are instead about propping up a business which consumers are abandoning as they avail themselves of new, more consumer-friendly options.
Now we know this attack was part of a broader agenda to ultimately shut down broadcast.
The reason Shapiro doesn’t like radio or television is that when someone listens to free radio, or watches free TV, his CES members don’t get a cut.
His ultimate goal is make sure his members make money anytime people listen to radio or watch TV.
In a recent interview, he said as much. If it were up to him, he would confiscate the spectrum and turn it over to CES members.
Here’s a taste of the interview:
For decades (broadcasters) haven't been creative, and they've been resistant to changes in technology. And they get a phenomenal amount of money from what they do. For years, they've basically controlled Congress.
Broadcasters have faced a declining viewership for years. They have been left behind. And they're sitting on way too much spectrum.
Whether it's 8 percent of the population, as our research indicates, that now relies on over-the air TV or 15 percent as others claim, it's still a low percentage of people relying on broadcast TV compared to the demand for more spectrum to fuel growth in wireless broadband services.
The question comes down to whether every market needs seven to 12 broadcasters. There will always be some broadcasters in every market. But is this the best use of spectrum? There has got to be better uses of the public airwaves than watching 40-year-old episodes of "I Love Lucy.”
And Shapiro couldn’t resist taking another shot at radio:
Radio broadcasters are the only medium that doesn't have to pay copyright fees. That's a fight that has been going on with the music industry for years. But it hasn't changed because they are so powerful politically.
So according to Shapiro, it is only political muscle that keeps broadcast radio and television on the air.
According to him, broadcast radio and television are wastes of spectrum space that mobile providers need so that more people can play Angry Birds and pay for subscription radio and television.
At the risk of sounding a little like Glenn Beck, it really sounds like Shapiro dreams of a future when AT&T and Verizon control both radio and television.
We speculated some time ago that the NAB was using their music royalty proposal as a Congressional bargaining chip in the fight over television spectrum.
Now you know why.