Busted: Carmel Group has already defined Satellite Radio's competitors

Wednesday, April 4, 2007 at 11:12 AM

XM and Sirius Merger
In the recent Carmel Group study, Senior Analyst and Chairman Jimmy Schaeffler writes an analysis about the proposed XM-Sirius merger, and drafts point-by-point blows combating each argument in favor of the merger.

One key aspect that Schaeffler argues against is the definition of the competitive landscape. Here's a quote from the Carmel Group report:

"Sirius and XM make an argument that is critical to the success of this proposed merger. They state that their competitive landscape presently includes all forms of terrestrial radio (i.e., analog AM and FM, digital HD and Internet radio), as well as digital services such as MP3 devices and music-to-cellular telephones. This position is ludicrous. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth."

Note that I added the emphasis on the "ludicrous" statement. That's something that the media is picking up on very heavily.

But exactly how ludicrous is this position? Exactly how far from the truth could it be? Not too far I guess, because Jimmy Schaeffler took that position himself in a Carmel Group article written in October 05, 2005:

"...satellite radio, with more than seven mil. subscribers, and its competition comes in the form of traditional analog AM & FM radio, as well as burgeoning services like MP3 players, terrestrial radio, and video- and Internet-to-the-vehicle. "

Now that's not a selectively snipped quote. Read the full article yourself - it goes on to outline and describe satellite radio's competition, and what obstacles they will face in the years to come.

This is an article that was written (free of any funding from the NAB) only a year and a half ago by The Carmel Group, and it explicitly defines satellite radio's competitors. But yet an NAB commissioned report by the same group suddenly claims that any such definition is "ludicrous."




Thanks for uncovering this.

I'm reminded of the old line concerning the whore.....

"We have established what you are. The only thing we are arguing about now is the price."

just what the "Merger" IMO was designed to do... EXPOSE THE NAB ... now let the merger die.

This is just an incredible find. WOW

Somebody send the FCC this find!

Great find! This is hilarious! I've never seen an organization (the NAB) stub their toe over and over again in this fashion. Ouch!

This HAS to be something that the media will pick up on. Carmel Group has lost all credibility with this bogus report.

Shame on you Schaeffler!

one word

O W N E D ! ! !

send info to the Wall Street Journal!

Oh my...Ryan, you have to send this out to the press. Even H100 news.

This is a riot.


everybody email them

techdirt now has it ;)

Wow! How totally ludicrous on Carmel's part to contradict themselves. Wow!

NAB president David Rehr has stated that satellite radio is competition. From his speech:

The Future of Broadcasting
The National Press Club - October 4, 2006
Remarks of David Rehr, President and CEO, National Association of Broadcasters

"But even with all of these expanded business opportunities, we must address new competitors.

Who are the newer competitors? ... On the radio side, we have SATELLITE RADIO, Internet radio, iPODs, other MP3 players, cell phones and others. How will we compete?"


The link to this transcript was on the NAB homepage until recently. I suspect removing it had to do with Sirius' comments to the Carmel Group:

"The NAB and its members say one thing when they try to block the Sirius-XM merger but something entirely different when (NAB Chief Executive) David Rehr speaks to the NATIONAL PRESS CLUB, Clear Channel speaks to its investors, or the HD radio alliance boasts about its advantages on its website," the companies said in a joint statement.

This is more and more aggravating. Are consumers really going to let this nonsense fly?

Don't let the NAB get away with this people. We the consumers should have the influence, not paid consultants, lobbiest, and paid research groups. Write the FCC and your local congressman. They really do listen, we just have to make sure they hear us.

Write the FCC here

Write your rep here

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