Legal Issues

by Mike Masnick

The Battle To Make Satellite Radio Local

from the what's-the-problem-here? dept

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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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Mar 2004 @ 12:41pm

    Skip this and... Re: No Subject Given me when I can receive WI-FI audio streams in my car from places like ShoutCast instead. It's fantastic: it's basically a place where a lot of fans put together their own radio stations, wonderful for genre music that I enjoy. (Obviously there's some larger businesses there, too. But the technology is quite simple.)

    Anyway, I'm sure satellite would have a better overall signal, but WI-FI access would be the cheaper, more democratic way to approach it.

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