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FCC postpones Sirius XM's channel lease requirement, again

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.

Radio censoring the word "satellite" from Black Eyed Peas - Boom Boom Pow lyrics

Black Eyed Peas - Boom Boom PowFM radio stations across the country have been censoring the word "satellite" from the hit Black Eyed Peas song "Boom Boom Pow" according to a report by The State Press.

Instead of the lyrics "here we go, here we go, satellite radio" the radio-edited version of the song garbles the word "satellite" - censoring a word that is both family-friendly and unoffensive.

That is, unoffensive to listeners at least, but apparently offensive enough to warrant nationwide censorship by those in the terrestrial radio industry. If you needed further proof of the travesty that regular radio has become, this is it.

SkyDock: Coming soon, a dock to stream Satellite Radio through your iPhone/iPod Touch

Sirius XM iPhone App
On August 17th, the FCC published a few documents that reveal that Sirius XM Radio Inc. are preparing to release a new product entitled the Sirius XM SkyDock.

Of course, Sirius XM doesn't want the FCC spilling the beans to eager bloggers like your's truly - so they requested a 45-day period of confidentiality. But we do know a few things.

Lawmakers order FCC to stand down; put actions on hold

FCC Chairman Kevin MartinSenator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) and Representative Henry Waxman (D-CA) today called on FCC Chairman Kevin Martin to put the agency's actions on hold unless they are urgent or required by law.

Rockefeller's and Waxman's committees both have jurisdiction over the FCC.

Minority Media & Telecom Council wants HD Radio in "most" Satellite Radios

HD Jump

The Minority Media and Telecommunications Council (MMTC) has petitioned the Federal Communications Commission to include HD Radio capabilities into most satellite radio receivers.

House Democrats call FCC under Martin "dysfunctional"

FCC Chairman Kevin Martin
This may not directly relate to satellite radio, but it echoes the sentiment that some felt led to one of the longest merger reviews in FCC history.

Energy and Commerce Chairman John Dingell and Rep. Bart Stupak, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, released a report yesterday that labels the FCC under Kevin Martin as "dysfunctional" and riddled with "abuses of power, suppression of information and manipulation of data."

FCC grants Sirius XM extension for 3rd Party Channels

Kevin Martin
The Federal Communications Commission has granted Sirius XM Radio Inc. an extension on the deadline to lease a portion of its channel capacity to third-parties.


Rep. Markey launches bill for HD Radio mandate in all Satellite Radios

Rep. Edward MarkeyRepresentative Edward Markey (D-MA), not content with a Federal Communications Commission inquiry on the subject, is has sponsored a bill to force HD Radio chips into  Satellite Radios.

The "Radio All Digital Channel Receiver Act" (H.R. 7157) would mandate that devices designed to receive both Sirius XM Radio Inc. service - and terrestrial radio - must be able to receive HD Radio too.

Of course, the FCC launched a Notice of Inquiry on the HD Radio mandate just last month. But Markey can't wait to let that play out it seems.

"Millions of Americans today rely on local broadcast radio for news, public safety bulletins, sports, weather, traffic and other information," Markey said in a statement.

"The recent merger of the only two satellite radio providers, XM and Sirius satellite radio, has underscored the importance of ensuring consumer access to a diversity of sources for digital radio content, in particular content originating in their local communities," Markey added.

Markey's bill is co-sponsored by Charles Gonzalez (D-TX), Greg Walden (R-OR), and Lee Terry (R-NE) - three staunch Clear Channel supporters.

[HR 7151 (PDF) via ArsTechnica]


Clear Channel CEO lambastes FCC over Satellite Radio Merger

Clear Channel CEO Mark Mays
Clear Channel CEO Mark Mays had words about the FCC's approving of the merger between Sirius Satellite Radio and XM Satellite Radio at a panel during this week's NAB Radio Show.

"I don't know how they [the FCC] allowed XM and Sirius to merge into a monopoly," said Clear Channel chief Mark Mays (pictured left, next to his father and Clear Channel chairman, Lowry Mays).

Of course, that criticism didn't prevent Clear Channel from revamping their channels on XM following the Sirius XM Radio Inc. merger. The Clear Channel controlled channels are reported to earn the radio conglomerate "seven figure revenue" annually.

Mays continued his remarks about the FCC, "They clearly didn't have the backbone right now to do the right thing." Mays added that "the right thing" would be to mandate that HD Radio be included in all receivers.

I wonder if calling Chairman Kevin Martin, as well as Commissioners McDowell and Tate, as having no "backbone" will encourage the FCC to do "the right thing"?

Broadcaster files petition against Sirius-XM merger

Los Angeles-based Mt. Wilson FM Broadcasters has filed the first petition for reconsideration with the FCC over the merger between Sirius Satellite Radio Inc. and XM Satellite Radio Holdings Inc.

Mt. Wilson is the licensee of L.A. radio stations KKGO and KGIL.

The broadcaster is asking the Commission to take a second look at the conditions imposed on Sirius XM Radio Inc. The company argues that the conditions are not adequate, and that the satellite radio companies should be subject to the same indecency regulations over "unauthorized frequencies" that terrestrial radio follows.

[View Petition (PDF)]