Current Issue:

Current Issue

On The Cover:
Cumulus Chairman Jeff Marcus

Click here to subscribe to Radio Ink.

Radio Ink Writers

CEA: Americans Don't Want Required FM In Cellphones

September 28, 2010: The Consumer Electronics Association has conducted a poll that found that 75 percent of adults say consumer electronics manufacturers should determine what's included in devices, not the government, and 80 percent said the government shouldn't require cellphones to include an FM chip. The CEA is responding to an NAB-commissioned Harris Interactive poll that found that  76 percent of cellphone owners would consider paying a onetime fee for including FM in their phones, and 73 percent said radio in a mobile phone would be "very" or "somewhat" important in an emergency. Sixty-six percent of the respondents in the NAB poll said they'd use an FM tuner if their cellphone had one.

The CEA, however, reports that most consumers are not interested in receiving FM broadcasts on their phones.

"Americans continue to want consumer electronics (CE) products designed by market demand rather than government mandates," CEA PResident/CEO Gary Shapiro said. "The CE market is the most innovative and growing sector in our economy. We understand that radio broadcasters are facing competition from new services and technologies, but rather than rely on government mandates, we encourage broadcasters to provide innovative services that Americans actually want to use."

The NAB, with the support of record labels, proposed a required FM chip in phones as part of a set of legislative proposals that could, if it gains radio-industry support, settle the long-running disput over performance royalties for radio. Shapiro said, "CEA and its member companies encourage Congress to leave such unwanted and unnecessary mandates out of any performance royalty legislation."

NAB EVP Dennis Wharton responds to the CEA poll: "NAB stands by the findings of Harris Interactive, a nationally recognized polling firm with the highest integrity. Ironically, CEA's own member companies build cell phones with radio capability that are in high demand in numerous markets outside the United States. Only in the America, where exclusive contracts between manufacturers and carriers govern the mobile phone market, is radio-capability relegated to third-class status."