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Sprint To Make FM Available On Smartphones

1-8-2013

Sprint will become the first U.S. wireless carrier to make FM radio available on a broad range of devices via an FM chip, under what the company called a "preliminary arrangement with representatives of the American radio industry." Emmis Chairman/CEO Jeff Smulyan (pictured), long an outspoken advocate of an FM chip in smartphones, said, "Today is a remarkable day for our industry. I am gratified by the unity I have seen in our industry. It seems every broadcaster I know has supported this effort, and I am grateful to the tireless efforts of industry leaders, from the largest companies to the owners of the smallest stations, all of whom have helped us reach this agreement. While there is much work to be done, today is a critical first step."

The agreement will roll out FM, via the NextRadio tuner app or "other apps and services," on a range of Windows and Android smartphones over the next three years. The NextRadio tuner is expected to be ready later this year, and with that app, Sprint said, "Consumers would enjoy a wide range of interactive listener features not available today and would have the availability of local FM radio at their fingertips to access all forms of broadcast information." NextRadio will be demonstrated at booth 9033 in the Central hall during the upcoming Consumer Electronics Show.

Clear Channel CEO Bob Pittman called the agreement "a great development for the radio industry, one which will help us bring the content and services that only radio can provide to the wireless system. It's an important benefit for consumers across America, and we are pleased to participate in this effort."

NAB President/CEO Gordon Smith said, "This opportunity combines the strengths of the Sprint network with the impact of America’s radio stations." He continued, "It is the type of business-to-business partnership that recognizes the unique strengths of the wireless networks and the radio
industry and provides services that are so important to the American people."




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(1/8/2013 5:47:56 PM)
Can Smulyan from Emmis...or anyone... give a compelling answer to this question: If a consumer (especially the under 30 year olds) can listen on their phone to a streaming music option, with minimal commercials...why would they go to an FM station on their phone, and have to listen to 6,8,10, or more commercials in a row? They won't!

- Bob

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