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.

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Companies: clear channel, sirius, xm

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Comments on “Clear Channel Says XM-Sirius Merger's Fine — As Long As It Can Buy More Terrestrial Stations”

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Rage Against Clear Channel says:

Guerrilla Radio

How about this to piss off Clear Channel– as a condition of approving the merger, limit the number of “channels” the XM/Sirius company can have at any given time to 1168. I believe that logically answers the CC complaint, though not in the way they’d like.

I guess I don’t understand what’s stopping CC from getting into the satellite-subscription business. All their terrestrial stations use the same playlists anyway– it seems to make sense for them to consolidate all of the market-based transmission equipment, frequency leases, office space, and staff down to a single point-of-origin that can reach the entire contiguous U.S. and most of Canada, Alaska, and Hawaii. Local issues could be handled the same way DirecTV does– everyone gets everything, and the receiver blocks out-of-market stuff.

In fact, let the corporations start leasing satellite receiver frequencies and abandon the AM/FM spectrums. The satellite transmission costs more than individuals can afford, but extends the reach of the deep-pocket broadcasts’ footprint (at a higher return, if done correctly). This would return the cheaper-to-use FM and AM bands back to the people. Now that the record companies have made it too expensive to broadcast on the internet, the 100w radio station should be encouraged to flourish, along with the crackpot ideas uttered on those 100w stations.

GoblinJuice says:


What does satellite and terrestrial radio have to do with each other??

Seriously. I’m confused.

That would be like Clear Channel demanding the ability the buy more stations in proportion to the number of portable music players sold. Completely, totally unrelated.

I love the idea of sat radio, but I’m too damn cheap to buy the equipment.

Until the receivers come down in price (eg, $19.97 at WalMart) and there’s a way to receive, decrypt and record the transmissions (for free, of course)… I won’t be getting one. 😉

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