Clear Channel Says XM-Sirius Merger's Fine -- As Long As It Can Buy More Terrestrial Stations
from the the-more-things-change... dept
Matthew Lasar writes in to let us know that terrestrial radio behemoth Clear Channel says that if the XM/Sirius merger is allowed to proceed, restrictions on terrestrial radio station ownership should be lifted. Once again, by tying the two issues together, Clear Channel is making it clear that terrestrial broadcasters do compete with the satellite radio companies. It's hardly surprising to see Clear Channel take this stance, though, as it's consistently lobbied for the ownership limits (which state that a company can own no more than eight stations per market) to be lifted. The details from a Clear Channel exec's letter to the FCC are slightly amusing. The guy says "With poorer content, local radio stations will lose listeners, and, consequently, advertisers, not because local radio would face a better competitor after the merger, but because it would be able to offer only an inferior product to listeners and advertisers." His comments came in the context of saying that a merged XM-Sirius would lock up all kinds of content through exclusive deals, making it unavailable to terrestrial stations. But taken more broadly, you have to say that the guy knows what he's talking about, given Clear Channel's experience in churning out inferior products with little success.