FCC tunes in on Sirius-XM merger debate

July 10, 2007 at 10:46 am Leave a comment

FCC tunes in on Sirius-XM merger debate | Entertainment | Music | Reuters

This kind of pisses me off. For the record- I am a very avid Sirius fan, and was an early adopter (I probably had one of the first 100 or so receivers sold in the Denver area). I personally hate XM (after listening to it in a friends car on a 20-hour road trip) but that’s just my opinion and obviously a lot of people like it.

At this point, both Sirius and XM are in trouble. They are both scraping by and I don’t believe (although I’m not into investments) that either of them is profitable. They want to merge because it is likely the only way satellite radio will survive more than a few more years. Neither of them has enough of a subscriber base to sustain themselves. By merging- they can combine their subscriber bases and consolidate their operations and (hopefully) become a profitable company.

I find it kind of funny that the National Association of Broadcasters is the biggest critic of the merger. Gee- I wonder why? Maybe people are tuning out broadcast radio because they are tired of 10-minute blocks of commercials and lame nationally-produced programming. With satellite radio- they can listen to commercial-free music they actually like! They even have a slew of talk stations (with commercials, unfortunately) in just about every genre possible.

The broadcasters are also probably bristling at the dismal failure of “Digital” and “High Definition” radio. Why would anyone buy a $300 receiver to listen to the same crappy radio programming and commercials they are listening to now, when they can pay $79 (or less) for a satellite radio receiver. Plus- with satellite radio you can listen to the same stations nationwide. Sure- you have to pay $12.95/month for it, but at least for me and something like 14 million other people- it’s worth it just to get an extra 5-6 songs an hour with no commercials or crappy DJ “shows”.

The bottom line is- almost everyone who tries satellite radio never goes back. I know some people who have switched from XM to Sirius and vice-versa, but I don’t know of anyone who has ever said- I don’t really like this whole satellite radio thing, so I’m going back to listening to WKRAP and their Whacky Morning Crew. Broadcasters are losing serious money because of satellite radio- and they want it to fail and die a horrible death.

Satellite radio also reaches virtually everyone in the continental US. (If you live in a cave or some deep canyon- you might not be able to get it without a really long cable or a repeater.) This includes farms, ranches and rural communities not served by local radio stations and unable to get regular radio reception. I know personally from years of road trips all over the country that often the only radio station you can get in these areas, if you can get one at all, is either a “praise the lord” or “twangy country” station. So- satellite radio gives these folks a broad spectrum of news and views, and music choices they have never had.

Okay, end of rant.

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Entry filed under: Satellite Radio.

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