Last month representatives from Shure Inc., the Grand Ole Opry, the Professional Audio Manufacturer’s Alliance (PAMA), the Sports Video Group (SVG), PRG Audio, Springboard Productions, Masque Sound, and Sound Associates, Inc. among others, participated in a series of meetings in Washington, DC with US Senators, members of the House of Representatives, and Commissioners and staff at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
The group, which collectively has decades of experience and a wealth of practical, real world knowledge in the professional design and application of wireless microphone systems, highlighted the integral role of wireless microphone systems in today’s entertainment, sports, and news productions. They emphasized that professional audio productions face significant interference risk from the introduction of unlicensed devices in television broadcast bands unless FCC rules are developed that fully protect wireless microphone systems. Concerns about proposed legislation from Senators John Kerry (D-MA) and John Sununu (R-NH) were specifically expressed.
“The group we assembled for these presentations included individuals who are responsible for some of the country’s biggest and most significant events in news, politics, sports, music, and theatre on a regular basis,” says Jeff Krull, vice president for product development at Shure. “We facilitated these meetings to explain to these policymakers that our industry is very important to many sectors of American life and that we’re very concerned about this proposed legislation and resulting rules.”
The group consisted of professionals involved with live music, entertainment, and sports production, wireless microphone manufacturing, and several of the nation’s most well-respected experts in audio production and engineering, including: Steve Gibson (Grand Ole Opry), Hank Neuberger (Springboard Productions), Ed Greene, RF & Audio engineer, Bob Rendon (PRG Audio), Geoff Shearing (Masque Sound), Richard Fitzgerald (Sound Associates), and Ed Wieczorek, broadcast and studio engineer.
“One of the messages we wanted to deliver is that wireless microphone systems are critical to the production of the content that Americans demand and expect from all media and entertainment outlets,” adds Krull. “Our group wants to ensure that wireless microphones are protected from potential interference. FCC rules that do not allow for the successful coexistence of unlicensed devices would also significantly harm the greater public interest. Any interference could cripple the production of live, high-profile events like the Super Bowl, World Series, Grammy Awards, Broadway shows, and political conventions to name a few.”