NAB: Haim Saban Urges Creation of a New Broadcast Standard for All Platforms

“If we don’t, we will be left back in the 20th century. It is not an option,” he said.
Haim Saban

LAS VEGAS — Asserting that it is “not just important, it is vital,” Univision chairman Haim Saban urged the development of a new broadcast transmission standard “to allow us to deliver our signal to all platforms, all the time,” on Monday at the NAB Show.

“If we don’t, we will be left back in the 20th century. It is not an option,” he said, calling on the Advanced Television Systems Committee to “seriously not consider anything else.”

“Make it freakin’ happen,” Saban added, urging the National Association of Broadcasters to lead the effort.

Saban’s remarks came during a frank and lively keynote conversation with NAB president and CEO Gordon Smith.

During the the discussion, Smith additionally asked Saban about his support for retransmission consent. “I don’t understand what the argument is,” Saban said. “ ‘I’ve got your content. I’m going to sell it and get paid for it — but I’m not going to pay you.’ It’s illogical; it doesn’t make any sense.”

He got a big laugh when he joked that the FCC must stand for “Friendly Cable Commission.”

He also got a laugh when he recalled selling Fox Family Worldwide, which included the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers franchise, to Disney, only to buy the Power Rangers back “at a fraction, fraction of the cost. “In that specific case, I guess we were better than them,” he quipped.

Twitter: @CGinLA