NAB wants Satellite Radio recall
The NAB has renewed their plea to the FCC to issue a complete recall of "unlawful" satellite radio receivers.
Last year the NAB whistled the same tune in a similar letter to the FCC, and later a letter to both Sirius and XM. Apparently causing XM and Sirius a massive disruption in production isn't enough for NAB president David Rehr. No, now we need an all out recall of all satellite radios that are "interfering" with FM.
In his letter, Rehr is particularly concerned with listeners of public and religious programming being subjected to explicit and "unwelcome" programming - particularly "The Howard Stern Show." And as expected, Rehr referred to a recent New York Times article to back up his claims that this is going on.
It's obvious that the NAB is quite pleased with themselves with what they were able to pull off last year, and they're not going to stop pressuring the FCC for more drastic measures. Afterall, who needs to compete in the marketplace when you can just use political pressure to get the job done for you?
(For you lazy clickers, you can read full text of Rehr's letter after the jump...)
Dear Mr. Chairman:
Recent media reports demonstrate that unlawful interference caused by satellite radio devices to free over-the-air radio service remains a pervasive problem. Therefore, the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) renews its plea for the Commission to pursue a recall of satellite radio devices present in the marketplace that do not comply with Part 15 of the Commission’s rules.
As revealed in studies submitted to the Commission last summer by NAB and National Public Radio, interference from satellite radio reception devices often causes “bleed through” on FM frequencies. As a result, nonsubscribers listening to FM radio will receive satellite radio programming over FM frequencies, particularly FM listeners in their cars and listeners of public and religious programming on noncommercial stations typically located at the lower end of the FM band.
In response to numerous consumer complaints, Sirius and XM temporarily suspended production of their noncompliant devices in July 2006.2 Subsequently, the Commission certified newly designed devices, allowing Sirius and XM to resume the sale of Part 15-compliant radio devices.
However, as noted in the attached recent article from The New York Times, these actions did nothing to resolve interference caused by noncompliant satellite radio receivers already in consumers’ hands or on retailers’ shelves before Sirius and XM redesigned the faulty devices. NAB highlighted this problem in a letter to Sirius and XM, dated September 21, 2006, in which the association also sought the voluntary withdrawal of all noncompliant devices from the market, to no avail. Consequently, satellite radio continues to disrupt FM radio service, as consumers interested in noncommercial radio programming continue to receive unwelcome content such as The Howard Stern Show.
Given Sirius and XM’s recalcitrance, it is left to the Commission to take corrective action. Therefore, NAB repeats its request that the Commission seek a recall of noncompliant satellite radio devices to prevent further disruption of listeners’ access to free over-the-air radio.
NAB looks forward to discussing these and other issues of concern with you and your fellow Commissioners. Please let us know what we can do to assist the FCC in its consideration of these or other matters.
David K. Rehr