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CEA, CTIA: NAB Poll Misses Point

New York – The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) and
CTIA-The Wireless Association brushed off a National Association of
Broadcasters (NAB) poll that found 76 percent of cellphone owners would
consider paying a one-time fee of 30 cents to access local radio stations
through a built-in radio chip.

The poll was published while the broadcast and music
industries continue


to tie an agreement over radio station royalties to a federal mandate that all
portable electronics incorporate an FM radio tuner.

CEA president/CEO Gary Shapiro said his group agrees “that
some consumers may want phones with FM receivers, pointing out that “numerous
models of radio-equipped phones are already on the market.” But, he said, “NAB
forgot to ask they key question: Do Americans really want the government designing
their phones and digital devices?”

The NAB, he continued, “doesn’t care what consumers want.”
NAB instead wants “to make the consumer buy a radio whether they want one or

For his part, CTIA VP Jot Carpenter said the FM chip mandate
sought by NAB “would reduce innovation and limit consumer choice.” FM
capability is already available for consumers who want to access over-the-air
radio on their mobile devices, he said. But “the majority of consumers do not
want that capability, and the notion that they want to pay more for a
functionality they do not want is ridiculous,” he stated.

 The NAB poll,
conducted by Harris Interactive, found that

66 percent
of all adults

would use a cellphone to access local radio stations,

40 percent
of cellphone users

would “strongly consider” paying 30 cents extra for such
a cellphone, and another 36 percent would probably considering paying extra.


of all adults called it very or somewhat important during
emergencies to have a cellphone with built-in radio.

The poll was published while the NAB and music industry
discuss potential limits on the amount of additional royalties that they want
radio broadcasters to pay while giving the music industry more potential access
to more listeners through portable devices.

The music industry wants terrestrial AM and FM broadcasters
to start paying royalties to artists and music companies for the songs they
broadcast. By law, radio broadcasters have had to pay royalties only to
songwriters, but new broadcast media such as satellite radio and webcasters pay
royalties to songwriters, artists and music companies.