FCC postpones Sirius XM's channel lease requirement, again - Orbitcast

FCC postpones Sirius XM's channel lease requirement, again

| 9 Comments
FCC
The FCC requirement that Sirius XM Radio Inc. lease out 4 percent of its bandwidth to 3rd parties has once again been extended.

Only, it's not Sirius XM's fault the deadline was extended, but rather the reason for the deadline extension is the FCC's own doing.
The FCC Media Bureau says it's still trying to put together guidelines for implementation of the program.

That's not to say it's not going to happen, of course - the FCC said it feels the decision on the matter will happen "in the near future," and as a result "a brief extension is appropriate."

The deadline has now been extended to May 25, 2010.

Commenters on the merger had expressed their concern for the 3rd party lease program to the FCC. In early 2009, the Commission opened the issue up for public comment - the results of which raised even more concerns.

Sirius and XM had voluntarily agreed to lease a portion of their bandwidth to "eligible" 3rd parties as part of the merger agreement. The merger was made official back in July, 2008 (has it really been nearly two years?).

9 Comments

Will we be able to get the clearChannels after Xm gives up the due Bandwidth or would that be the First thing to Go?I Would Surely miss Rock@Random as it was the last reminder of the "OldXM" as we new it "Big Tracks, with no live DJ Chatter ""JUST MUSIC""

Will we be able to get the clearChannels after Xm gives up the due Bandwidth or would that be the First thing to Go?I Would Surely miss Rock@Random as it was the last reminder of the "OldXM" as we new it "Big Tracks, with no live DJ Chatter ""JUST MUSIC""

The CC channels aren't programmed by or subject to deletion at the behest of SXM. They are "owned" as the result of a capital infusion CC gave XM many years ago and will remain "property" of CC until and/or unless CC cashes out its investment. They only go away if CC chooses to make them go away.

Whatever "public interest" channels are eventually created (if that ever occurs) would be created entirely out of non-CC SXM bandwidth.

It's funny that the word merger keeps being thrown around because to me, it still feels like two separate companies. They still have these "Best of" packages meaning if you are a subscriber of one or the other service, you don't really get all channels unless you pay to receive the "other" service's channels. AND, even then, you still don't get everything. As a Sirius subscriber, I can't get the MLB games no matter what I pay. I wouldn't mind paying a few dollars more in order get truly EVERYTHING. The merger so far has been pointless from the standpoint of getting content.

What you have said is true, but a merger does not necessarily have to mean all aspects of merged businesses are combined. When retailers merge, they frequently keep separate store names to address different market segments. Sears and Kmart would be an example.

Ironically, I think you would be closer to your desirable goal of being able to pay a few dollars more and getting everything if the channels had NOT been merged to the extent that they have been. If Sirius and XM channel lineups had remained separate, there would be a market for the inter-operable radios that receive both Sirius and XM. But, because they chose instead to "merge" most of the channels, they've decided to throw away half of their available bandwidth by blanketing the country mostly the same stuff from two sets of satellites, and in the process have made inter-operable radios all but pointless.

And, relating this to the point of the above article, rather than requiring Sirius XM to "lease out" some of it bandwidth based on some politician's arbitrary determination of what "should" be broadcast, it would have been far better to have required them to maintain 300 or so separate channels (Sirius plus XM), which would have given consumers far more variety than a handful of "leased" channels that may or may not even be appealing to paying listeners.

Although I agree that some politician's arbitrary judgement on what should be broadcast is not proper, I would like some entity other than SXM be allowed to put something else on. What we have is a political deal for the merger for which SXM is seen as giving something away for the public good, just like sat TV and cable, but the reality is that the public got screwed, and some politicians got kickbacks. Since little progress has been made in evolving towards an interoperable radio and antenna for all the bandwidth, it's time to pull the plug on the merger, just like what happened between Dish and Direct TV.

Pull the plug on the merger? Nothing would be better for satellite radio listeners, as this combined company has proven, by and large, not to be terribly interested in quality programming, but I think the ship has already sailed. How could you undo it at this point?

Perhaps the best way to achieve better programming and let other entities reach satellite listeners would not be to allocate a few channels for "public interest" programming, but devise an arrangement where Sirius XM would lease out much of the channel spectrum to third-party providers. Sirius XM would take the role of the distributor, like Dish or DirecTV, with content providers being separate, like the TV networks. Maybe use "a la carte" pricing to allow listeners to pay only for the channels they want, with a revenue split between Sirius XM and the content provider.

More channels are not needed. Maybe less.
Since the merger, XM is more MP3 sound than
CD sound quality. We need individual stations
like Deep Tracks to have better sound.

Why is it with you folks in thew F.C.C. that when it comes to companies that pay you off prior to a merger that it seems to take a very short time to approve it, but when you folks don't like like the companies or personalities that are apart of the companies it takes for ever and at a cost in the 7 digits or more range.
I thought that the F.C.C. was put together to serve all not just those that pay you off with the most money, or the ones with the so-called high morales that play with little boys as reported by the press you can't dodge that, we the tax payers pay you to protect us and yet if some old hack female with nothing better to do but write to complain " i was ashamed to hear that other day on satellite radio such and such made a comment i did not like" but on t.v. or f.m. radio if you have a big name all is forgiven, that in my opinion is very wrong and a miss justice to the comunity and it shows just how one sided you folks are running the F.C.C. my thoughts are this the entire F.C.C. should be closed down because you folks really don't and have shown it in the past your byest and hypacreates (that word my not be spelled right but you get my point), PLEASE do the nation a great favor due to the fact ya can't do your job propley shut down and we can handle it our selfs. thank you from a person that feels your incompatent at your job.