Radio Broadcasters Attack Free Satellite Trials

from the silliness-pervades dept

The satellite radio industry’s come under some fire from several sides lately, getting hit by the music industry for having devices that let users record programming, and investigated by the FCC for having FM transmitters in them that are too strong. Its longest-running battle, though, is with terrestrial broadcasters, who have been complaining to whoever will listen about XM and Sirius for many years. Their latest complaint is particularly silly, and has them crying to the FCC about all the different ways a non-subscriber can be exposed to satellite radio broadcasts, whether it’s in a rental car from a company that subscribes, or on a free trial with satellite equipment delivered in a new car, or from somebody else’s overly strong FM transmitter. They make it even sweeter, though, by framing it as an issue of decency, the FCC chairman’s pet project. The trade group that filed the complaint isn’t concerned about profane broadcasts, it’s just the latest idea they’ve had to try and stall satellite radio. The satellite radio business has its own problems to deal with, and is operating within the constraints imposed on it by regulatory bodies. With that in mind, terrestrial broadcasters’ energy would be better spent on figuring out how to compete in the marketplace, rather than continuing their fruitless battle to get more legal restrictions imposed on its younger competitor.

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Comments on “Radio Broadcasters Attack Free Satellite Trials”

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Brent says:

Boo Hoo

Clear Channel is the largest owner of radio stations in the Country. 1200 stations. It would own more if the FCC would let it and I’m sure they stroke the FCC to rule in their favor whenever possible. Along comes a competitor and BOO HOO. I don’t like ANY company who dominates any sector of anything if it got there by buying political favors so I do not feel a bit sorry for them.

alaric says:

One Again Business seeks to Stifle Free Market

Where are our little right wing friends now. Here we have yet another in a nearly infinite sum of examples of big business trying to buy the government to weed out competition. In other words, the “free marketers” are doing everything they can to destroy the free market.

Its another example of the corporatist state in which money and influence take precedent and are used to stifle the free market mechanism of competition.

But all we’ll hear from the fat pocket, alleged defenders of the free market is silence. If only we could hear the same from our tetrestrial radios because clear channel etc are bloody awful.

Moneyguy says:


Fear of change, defending old business models or just plain laziness?

What is up with every business doing all it can to protect itself from innovation?

Techdirt must have had at least three or four stories in the last week dedicated to businesses doing everything they can to stop progress from rolling forward.

If they spent as much money on developing new products and finding better ways to serve their customers as on litigation and lobbying Congress we would probably be living the Star Trek life right now.

Bobby (user link) says:

the big complaint

cut down on the spot breaks, make the most of your stop sets. make them entertaining, informative, and short. get back to radios roots. entertainment. cut the jocks loose. let them say what they’ve got to say, funny or otherwise, and most of all let them pick the music and do “a show”. the cream will rise to the top. stop whinning and start thinking.

eeyore says:

new to Sirius

I’ve had Sirius for three days now and I wonder why I didn’t get it a year ago or earlier. Wow, stations that play music! Instead of having to listen to endless commercials, canned DJ patter, and the same top 40 crap that is on every station there are actually channels that cater to virtually all musical tastes. I actually left my MP3 player at home this morning for the first time in years.

James says:

RIP FM (and RIAA for that matter)

XM came with my Acura, at first I thought will I want to pay for this?

I’ve been a HUGE fan of XM for over 1.5 years now… and I NEVER, EVER listen to FM anymore.

I love my XM and screw these FM broadcasters if they can’t come up w/better content than morning shows for 8yo’s (Yeh I know… FCC regulations, blah, blah, blah … boring).

As for the RIAA, I listen to XM so much I could care less if ever buy another CD …..and everyone benefits when we put another nail in the RIAA’s coffin.

Decent Music says:

Re: Really sorry, but XM sucks

We got a preview subscription in our car and was really excited about XM…no commercials sounds great!

However, I stared flipping through the “Rock” stations. Guess what, ALL of the stations were filled with bands that I never heard of. Ok, I like hearing new stuff, but these bands SUCKED. Plus I couldn’t even find ANYTHING that I had heard of. Then for the station that was supposed to play the classics, they played the classics that NO ONE HAS EVER HEARD OF! The seriously took all of the one-hit wonders and played their other tracks.

If you do happen to like the new mainstream rock/alternative then XM is not your best bet. Very disappointed.

Indiana Greg says:

why bother

I wonder why the RIAA is so worried about XM…

1. the sound quality is comperable to 8-bit internet radio.

2. the listener demographic is not one known to support high dollar ad revenue.

3. many spot breaks are filled with PSA’s since ad sales are likely poor.

4. most of their ads are the same as we get in email spam and not big dollar ad agencies or brand names.

5. they are reducing the number of channels with no paid ads.

6. apparantly not making a profit and no sign of profit in the forseeable future.

It appears the outlook for XM to continue to operate as-is long term is not good. I would look for it to sell and be turned into something more like Directv is today, where it re-broadcasts those willing to pay to place their audio streams on the satellite. It appears the model where the owner is both program creator and broadcaster does not appear to work. The best barometer is the sale of ad time to big name advertisers and the number of PSA’s aired.

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