An interesting look at how XM and Sirius - the two satellite radio companies - are offering "local" radio programming, by offering it nationally. It turns out that when the two satellite radio companies started up, people were afraid that they would harm local independent radio stations. So, as part of the agreement to give them spectrum, they were told they could only broadcast nationally. However, when people hop into their cars and head to work in the morning - they want local news, traffic and weather info. So, to get around this policy, both satellite systems are experimenting with local news - but broadcasting it nationally. In other words, even if you're in New York you could tune into the local San Francisco news. While this might be somewhat cool if you happen to be interested in the local traffic/weather/news somewhere else in the world, it's a complete waste of resources. The original reason for the rule makes less and less sense as most "local" radio stations are just playing nationally syndicated content from Clear Channel anyway. It certainly seems like a set of rules that are simply designed to keep away competition, rather than encourage it.
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