FCC Chair backs approval of Sirius-XM merger - Orbitcast

FCC Chair backs approval of Sirius-XM merger

| 59 Comments
Kevin MartinFCC Chairman Kevin Martin is recommending the approval of the merger between Sirius Satellite Radio Inc. and XM Satellite Radio Holdings Inc., according to reports.

Aides to Martin told The Washington Post that the FCC chief decided to give his support after Sirius-XM agreed last week to concessions intended to prevent the new company from raising prices or stifling competition.

Martin is expected to issue an order to approve the merger - as early as Monday, according to The Wall Street Journal - setting the stage for a final vote which could occur any time after his recommendation is circulated.

"As I have indicated before, this is an unusual situation," Martin said in a statement. "I am recommending that with the voluntary commitments [Sirius and XM] have offered, on balance, this transaction would be in the public interest."

FCC officials said that XM and Sirius voluntarily agreed to all of Kevin Martin's terms, many of which the companies had originally suggested.

The concessions the companies agreed to are:
  • A three-year freeze on prices and packages that include programs from both services.
  • "A La Carte" programming to be available within 3-months after close of the deal.
  • Open Device Access, providing technology standards to allow for any device manufacturer to make satellite radios.
  • Interoperable radios to be available within one-year of the merger.
  • Set aside 8% of total combined spectrum (12-channels each) for noncommercial, educational and public safety programming - for those who have "not been traditionally represented" in radio, according to the Martin.
The details on how this system would work have yet to be worked out, according to the Associated Press.

The merger also is expected to allow the company to begin servicing Puerto Rico, where neither currently operates.

Thanks to everyone who sent this in!

UPDATE: Noticeably absent from the agreed concessions are iBiquity's proposal to require HD Radios be built-in to satellite radios, and Georgetown Partners' proposal to take 20% of Sirius-XM broadcast infrastructure off their hands. And that's a good thing.

59 Comments

Fuck Puerto Rico.

This is great news!
Thanks for assembling all the different reports into one Ryan. Makes it much easier.

FUCK.......! MERGER MAKES ME CRY!
Thanks for sharing now we all know merger makes you mad and that makes us GLAD! You sound like a little bitch with a skinned knee! Or Nancy Kerrigan. WHY..... Oh WHY ME!......WAHHHHHH! I'm so angry I'm gonna say a bad word. BWHAAA HA HA HA!

THANKS FOR THE MORNING CHUCKLE ......SMUCKLE!

Wow..... About time this is coming to a close....

And hey.... Doesn't ANYONE sleep anymore? :-)

its not april fools is it

its not april fools is it

I must be dreaming... I mean it's late and im supposed to be asleep.

So this has to be a dream...

Howard Stern always wins

This is a late April Fools joke that Ryan is playing on us . lol

Finally!

The only bad news is after the merger is approved I'll be coming to this site a lot less. I pretty much came here for merger news. Sorry.

This is truely a sad day

yes it is, for it's a sad day NAB spammers everywhere, now they have to go find a new job.

And the Lord said, "Go Sox."

AMEN.

Interesting... XM shouldn't have a problem with the 8% bit, especially once they get rid of the bandwidth hog of Clear Channel... I guess that means that the combined service (read: a merged infrastructure, where all receivers receive signals from all satellites, originated from a single primary broadcast facility) - when that happens many moons in the future - will have 24 channels dedicated to non-commercial/educational/public safety programming...

AND... this should also put a surge back into the retail market... once dual-service receivers become available, people who want to receive both services, even if they already have one in their car, will be looking to buy a receiver at retail...

It's interesting that the merged company must allocate a percentage of their stations versus a fixed number. I suspect that a lot more channels overall will be added as time go on, maybe up to 500 or more stations covering anything that your heart could desire is just about any language. Video too! Time will tell.

the devils in the details--Ill believe this when i see it as NOW you will hear the last minute shrills come out, the NAB will go nuclear and Jesse Jackson will go off--You will hear some idiots in this low rated Congress go off--The better way to approve this would have been total silence, then an announcement its been voted on and approved--This report will cause a last minute surge of idiots screaming and could actually delay further

FUCK 0.0, they should be getting their walking papers anyday. HAHAHA the Open&Anus always win, do they? Prepare to get fucked in the ass by Howard Sterns gigantic cock you faggot pests.

BtLS is about to get his own channel on Sirius 202!!!!!!!

Not sure if last post went thru. Great job Ryan covering this merger, great site. Anomymous coward looks like the dumbass with the GED will get his rewards . Thats what happens when you think with a positive attitude not the negativity of the NAB. Really guys has been fun debating with you. no hard feelings. Charles M Scott, SIRIUS and Mel rule!!!!!

Guess all the faggots who bought those piece of shit Innos are about to get to smash them on Youtube, since Mel is about to pull the plug on XM. Little bitches.

Ron and Fez Noon to 3 on.......... some torrent site?

Once they "trim" playlists to save on costs. IM OUT OF HERE!

Fuck Mel.

Complete humiliation list:

NAB- a living demonstration of Washington's "generation of swine" class.
C3SR- a collection of liars- no doubt these "students" will go very far in Washington culture
Anonymous "merge monopoly" sodomite, who is silenced forever, along with his infantilism
Georgetown Partners and their playing their dog eared race card- the 60s are over.
US Electronics- this backwater of a company will declare victory even though it never amounted to anything.

sad day,sad day indeed.
well zombies you win.i will be canceling my xm subscription today.i will not spend one dime to support your part time leader.just remember when you have 20min commercial breaks to offset your masters salary, now that he'll probibly resign for another half a billion, to do three afternoon shifts a week, you asked for it.the only one this merger benefits is HIM.
i truly feel sorry for you guys, having been a zombie myself years ago,HEplays you for fools and you go right along. when will you learn.


ron and fez noon to three

"Not sure if last post went thru. Great job Ryan covering this merger, great site. Anomymous coward looks like the dumbass with the GED will get his rewards . Thats what happens when you think with a positive attitude not the negativity of the NAB. Really guys has been fun debating with you. no hard feelings. Charles M Scott, SIRIUS and Mel rule!!!!!"


Through it all, this site has been invaluable. It delivered hard news and insight no one else did, and (at least until recently) attracted a core of smart, informed, opinionated commentary. Ryan Saghir is owed a great deal for keeping this site relevant and on course.
He exposed many untruths people tried to throw in the eyes of the public.


Here's to Orbitcast's future - the best is yet to come.


FUCK HOWARD STERN, he should be getting his walking papers anyday. HAHAHA O&A always win! Prepare to get fucked in the ass by O&A's gigantic cock you faggot.

BtLS is about to get shit canned!!!!!!!

FUCK HOWARD STERN, he should be getting his walking papers anyday. HAHAHA O&A always win! Prepare to get fucked in the ass by O&A's gigantic cock you faggot.

BtLS is about to get shit canned!!!!!!!

Thank goodness this is over. I'm not a merger fan but I understand the need for this to go down.

I also HATE the concessions of 8% being allocated to programming the majority of people don't care about.

Speaking of which, does anyone know if there any programming on either service right now which would fit into this 8% group?


We have come to a decision on the A La Carte price structure for our two services top rated talk show hosts.

Howard Stern Show: We feel $12.94 a month is a fair price for the man who made this possible. Who would have thought in 2 short years Howard could take his service so far that it became first among “equals” with me in command?

O&GAY Show: First in satellite and first to flee back to our enemies at the NAB Their days of riding both sides of the fence are numbered. They have already set the value of their show with their defection to FREE FM. The show is already free how could we dare to charge for it as a matter of fact……….

SWEET! Fuck tthe NAB, Struble, iBiquity, HD Alliance! It's really over for HD Radio, now - no manufacturer will put shitty HD Radio in their receivers, especially now that Pioneer is pissed off! Consumers have voted "NO" to HD Radio! FUCK YOU STRUBLE!

"I also HATE the concessions of 8% being allocated to programming the majority of people don't care about. Speaking of which, does anyone know if there any programming on either service right now which would fit into this 8% group"?

I DO!
Opie and Anthony
XM Ch 202 "The Virus" soon to be the "WHO GIVES A SHIT CHANNEL"

@Steven I don't think I've slept for over 450 days in anticipation of this kind of news. :)

And to think that all of this could have been done seven months ago had it not been for Mr. Martin's self serving interests.

I will always disrespect him for the damage he has done.
He IS Washington. He IS incompetence. He is malfeasance.

Make no mistake people, the hold up here was not Sirius/XM as was suggested. It was Martin...and I remain in support Of John Adlestien as the next chairman, and trust that he will support this merger.

8% is nothing. It could have been 15%.

Martin is only one of 7 other commissioners who have to approve it.
So you have to wait for 6 more decisions.

It could have been 20% or 50% too...

At least, the fucking NAB/C3SR(NAB Puppet) and other freeloaders can't say that the FCC didn't listen to their crap and call foul.

I wonder if the FCC is going to make satellite go by the same regulations as terrestrial with regards to censorship and the liberal politically correct BS.

If they give in to the special interest groups, then I will terminate my subscription and go back to listening to my MP3 and personal CD collection.

Anonymous Coward....

eat you for lunch! :)

yum.

Um ... this DOES mean it will actually pass, right?

I mean, will there still be three commissioners willing to vote no?

About time! The 8% will slowly go away, as people will not tune in. Same goes for the shitty XM channels like 40's on 4, etc... Give me baseball, Mel!

Anyone want to predict which congressman comes out first saying...."I'm disappointed..blah blah blah." Probably will call for an 'investigation' before the vote too.

If the vote happens before the end of June I'll be surprised.

That being said - can't wait to hopefully get Stern on my old Skyfi2 ASAP. Can't pick up Sirius in the office!

Glorious days ahead.

Max why are you still posting here? You proved your lack of class, you more than proved your lack of knowledge, and you also chose to take a shot at Ryan and Orbitcast.

"This is the last time I am responding to you a little turd like you. When Ryan wants to restore the quality of his site, I'll be back. It's his to lose. If you had any brains or decency, you would just STFU and crawl back under the rock you came from.
Have a nice day, putz."
Posted by: Max | June 14, 2008 9:19 PM

I note that despite this good news, the price of the stock went up a whole dime by 10:00 A.M.

People have lost all faith in this technology and treat this like a stock on the Pink sheets.
Too many promises, too many losses, too steep a hill to climb.... people have no faith in this technology or merger based on the share price.

Remarkable.

So much for those that thought they could earn a quick buck. The stock now is 40 cents lower than four months ago.

Dear Humiliated Turd-

Did I not say I was no longer responding to YOU? Do you have some cognitive deficiency in addition to your lack of brains and maturity?

It would seem so. And your pandering to Ryan is a bit of a joke that everyone is laughing at, since everyone here hates you.

So now that the merger is done, you can put your busy hands back to their original use-working your lap.


Have a nice day "merge monopoly" LOSER!! LOL!!! Now go bother someone else.

Interesting to see Martin give the OK after so long.

Not sure what the future holds for these (this) company, but I will say this:

If the content gets watered down any more than it has, then I'm gone. (Direct) Competition usually helps keep these companies on their toes, but now with everything being under one roof, I'm not so sure. The 3 year price freeze may actually hurt these guys in the long run, since they are still both bleeding so much cash.

Interesting times ahead, indeed.

I will sit on the fence and see what happens. Good luck.

ANY movement is good movement. We might be putting the cart in front of the horse, but it seems like this could be the start of this whole mess wrapping up.

Wondering why some above (the children we'd expect) feel the need to post what they feel is personal score card instead of thinking forward on what the merge will really mean to subscribers and to the satellite radio industry.

Are any details solid? What can subscribers expect? What channels, content, talent, will be removed?
(A three-year freeze on prices and packages that include programs from both services.)


("A La Carte" programming to be available within 3-months after close of the deal.)


(Open Device Access, providing technology standards to allow for any device manufacturer to make satellite radios.)


(Interoperable radios to be available within one-year of the merger).


(Set aside 8% of total combined spectrum (12-channels each) for noncommercial, educational and public safety programming)

The details when available hopefully will be open and laid out on the table. Those are what is going to be needed to be analyzed, and compared to what we currently have.

Cleary the street, reflective in the stock price, feels the same way I due. There is noting great here. The combined compnay has massive Debt 2.3 billion, in a weak credit market and consumer spending at a all time low.

No rate increase and al a carte will no increase revenue, and it will be a drag on ARPU. On thing to consider the SAC, which is at $90.00 does not decrease beucase af al a carte. So if a customer purchases a radio and only buys a $6.99 package it will take way longer to recoup the costs.

Just my 2 cents, no dog in the firght here, just a observation

8% of the spectrum is interesting. Does anyone know if there is a lower and upper limit to the amount of bandwidth per channel? If the recipients of this generous gov't handout wished to, they could maximize their programming at the cost of low bandwidth, painful to listen to streams. Since some of the potential recipients have stated their intention to offer the programming for free, I wonder if that is another vector of attack for broadcast radio - get all radios playing 3rd party content for free in a poor quality mode and get the idea across that all of satelliite radio sounds like that? That wouldn't be too different than what Clear Channel did by insisting their music channels on XM play commercials.


"Martin is only one of 7 other commissioners who have to approve it.
So you have to wait for 6 more decisions."

Hey AC

The FCC is comprised of 5 commissioners total NOT 7 RETARD! Just more proof that you suck at making up “facts”!


Who cares how shitty the quality is of stations that no one listens to? HD radio lowers the quality of their multiplex stations and you don’t hear anyone complaining because no one listens to it anyway! The same thing will happen here. If a bear shits in the woods and no one listens who cares!

Let the games begin!

Who wants to make an offer to buy SIXM now?

Do I hear 5.50 a shares.... do I have 6.00..... 6.50 going once.... twice.... 7.00!

This is now a 18-20 Billion dollar business.

PS.. time for NAB/CCU to pay royalties isn't it?

Why aren't Jamie Foxx and the tons of R&B stations already considered minority programming?!?!? Seems like a non-point to me...

Hey Frank

When they say minority they aren’t referring to race they are referring to the minority of people who want to buy a new radio to listen to free content. Kind of like the people fooled into purchasing HD radios… you know, a minority as in small number.

because it never ends with black race baiters.first they wanted black quaterbacks,got them.then there were no black head coaches,got them.now theres no black owners,eventially there will be.they need to kick and scream in the media so they don't become irrellivent.once obama is elected rev al will accuse the royal family of being racist for never having a black king or queen.i'm sure rev al will get some kind of consultants job with the new xm/siri company or he will protest for more of the spectrum and hold up the proceedings.

for all of those who are canceling today. BYE, we do not care.

concesions- why must the MINORITY get the majority of everything?

if you don't like howard and you think we are all zombies who cares what you think. I do not care if it is all lies, I am still entertained. I guess you do not movies unless they are documentries.

howards fake caller- there are black (minority) owners. the founder of BET owns some sort of team. ushers is part owners of an NBA team. the owner of the ny islander is japanese.

mario is a part owner of the penquins. well I am not sure if he is gay but his boyfriend cindy crosby is.

@ thank you for that update.now look out prince william here comes flava flav

@ thank you for that update.now look out prince william here comes flava flav
Posted by: howards fake caller

yea booooyyyeeeeeeeee

good, georgetown and That bullshit they call HD radio dont deserve shit!...piggybacking off Sat Radio so desperate considering FM radio shot themselves in the foot with limited playlists, more commercials, and switching formats too much!

georgetown should stop being so self centered always about their own but dont give a shit about anyone else! georgetown is racist for looking out for themeselves! the spanish aint cryin, the asians aint crying, no one but the blacks!
besides sirius and xm is full of multi cultural personalities, much more then FM radio and at least Sat rad pays royalties to artists unlike those cheap bastards at FM radio!

and AC you can suck it for being a dumbass NAB supporter who constantly lies about price raises and programming cuts! besides sirius/xm agreed NOT TO raise prices as the FCC and sirius/xm agreed to! your NAB propaganda is useless at this point!