Broadcasters Hope Fourth Time's The Charm For Anti-Satellite Radio Bill

from the try-try-try-try-again dept

You sort of have to admire the satellite radio companies. Whatever your interest in paying a monthly fee for their service, anybody that so consistently manages to get under the skin of people like the RIAA and Clear Channel can't be all bad. The RIAA aims lawsuits and legislation, while Clear Channel's tried its best to make XM's programming worse. The National Association of Broadcasters, the radio broadcasters' trade group, has consistently derided satellite radio as a bit player that poses no threat to its members, while trying to disrupt it by whining about FM modulators, and now it's backing legislation that would prevent satellite radio broadcasters from offering any sort of local content, like weather or traffic reports. The bill, which has been introduced three times before and failed, is hung on the bizarre idea that satellite radio broadcasting local emergency alerts and other types of information is somehow a threat to public safety because, basically, satellite radio could hurt broadcast radio's ad sales. You'd imagine making the information more widely available would actually be a boon to safety, but logic clearly doesn't make it up Capitol Hill. This bill is simply an anti-competitive tactic by the broadcast radio industry, and comes at the same time the NAB is asking for millions of satellite radios to be recalled and taken back from consumers.

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  • identicon
    evilwulfie, 14 Feb 2007 @ 10:40pm


    I am a radio station engineer and ohe teh noes i listen to XM in my car while i am driving. i drive long hours sometimes up to 14 hours a day. It sure is nice to listen to the radio without nasty multipath and constant fading out from town to town as i drive. i almost never listen to stations besides the ones i consult for and only then to ensure the station is on air and sounding great. face it earth stations time has come.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Chris Nystrom, 15 Feb 2007 @ 1:00am

    Who is Sponser

    Who is the legislator sponsering this legislation? That is the person we need to pressure.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Ryan Saghir, 15 Feb 2007 @ 1:55am

    And the Sponsor is...

    The sponsor for HR 983 is Rep. Gene Green (D-TX) - who's on his 8th term. Co-sponsoring it is Rep. "Chip" Pickering (R-MS).

    The genius behind this bill is that it would block Amber Alerts from going out to satellite radio's 13+ million subscribers (and at an avg of 2.5 listeners per subscriber, that's oh say 30 million people total).

    In emergency situations, like in the Katrina aftermath when all the local radio towers were knocked out, only a satellite signal is able get through to deliver EAS alerts to people. XM even dedicated satellite bandwidth for the Red Cross during the Katrina aftermath so that they could get vital information to the field.

    This bill would prevent all that, not to mention the ability to hear traffic and weather. But hey, at least it's a bi-partisanship effort.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Insydedan, 15 Feb 2007 @ 2:01am

    satellite radios recalled ...

    and taken back from consumers. Good Luck!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    PNess, 15 Feb 2007 @ 3:42am

    Ipods/ Mp3 stand alone FM transmitters

    and if you see these recalled, then you will have to recall the 100million FM transmitters for IPODS, MP3 players, ECt....they are out there and most of them are 10x more powerful then what is in your xM/Sirius radio's

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Mark, 15 Feb 2007 @ 4:54am

    From my cold dead fingers...

    You will recall my Sirius radio from my car and my cold dead fingers...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Old Guy, 15 Feb 2007 @ 5:42am

    Tech Wars

    Slowly but surely all technologies are replaced by better, faster, more efficient ones. The war make take a while but generally the better technology will win out in the end.

    radio vs satellite,
    Eight tracks vs cassettes vs cd's vs mp3 media
    vhs vs dvd

    The list goes on.

    Its the way things are and all the radio industry is doing is fighting a losing battle to survive

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Unwired please, 15 Feb 2007 @ 9:29am

    Entertainment vs. cost factor

    When satellite radio first came out I thought paying for radio was crazy but lets look at my world now. Wireless card laptop, cell phone only, XM radio, but broadcast tv. Wonder what I still think is a rip off? Watch out big fat cable pig. The entertainment vs. cost factor will catch up to you one day. Go satellite!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Davis Freeberg, 15 Feb 2007 @ 10:54am

    Too Many Rules

    Why does Congress keep making more rules to live by. If terrestial radio can't suceed on it's own, then why should other consumers have to live without satellite just to support a broken system. This should be a free market issue, not a regulatory issue.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Chris, 16 Feb 2007 @ 8:09am

    Letter to Congress

    I've written the following letter to my representative as well as Rep. John D. Dingell (D-MI), Chairman of the Committee on Energy and Commerce where the bill is currently sitting. Feel free to copy and paste the letter and use it to send to your representative.


    I am writing regarding H.R. 983, The Local Emergency Radio Service Preservation Act of 2007, as introduced by Rep. Chip Pickering of Mississippi, and Rep. Gene Green of Texas. I strongly oppose this legislation.

    This bill would prevent satellite radio from transmitting these local services - including public safety/emergency information.

    A great example of the benefits of satellite radio in an emergency situation was during the Hurricane Katrina aftermath when XM and the Red Cross both setup Red Cross Radio. This allowed relief workers, shelters and aid stations to receive vital information during a time when local terrestrial radio was knocked out of service. I would think that Rep. Pickering would praise this service rather than oppose this service, seeing that he serves constituents from Mississippi that were directly affected by this major emergency and could not receive emergency information from local radio.

    In my opinion, this bill represents the influence of big business, rather than a service to the public. Rep. Pickering, since 1989 has received $ 48,500 from the National Association of Broadcasters, and $ 46,498 from the National Cable & Telecommunication Association, in addition to being sent on a trip to Vail, CO in August of 2005, paid by the Telecommunications Industry Association. In addition, Rep. Green, the bill’s primary co-sponsor since 1989 has received $95,500 from the Communications Workers of America, and was sent on trips to Las Vegas in April of 2005 and April of 2003 paid by the National Association of Broadcasters.

    I believe that the American people spoke with a loud voice in the last election, and would be mortified that this legislation really has nothing to do with public service, but is payback for receiving campaign contributions from big business contributors.

    This particular bill was introduced three times in the past, with all three efforts ending in failure. It is time the issue should be dropped, and Congress should worry about bigger and much more important issues such as healthcare, education, and the war on terror.

    I appreciate your time and your vote against H.R. 983.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    spike, 16 Feb 2007 @ 11:22am

    FM modulators piss me off.

    The broadcasters have a point with being against FM modulators. I listen a couple public radio stations, which are at 88.1 and 88.5 on the dial. Every single day, when I'm driving in my car, my listening is interrupted several times by Howard Stern or smooth jazz, or some other rubbish emanating from an FM modulator in another car.

    Seriously, I don't break into other peoples listening experiences and insist they listen to bits of All Things Considered for 10 seconds at a time.

    Personally, I'd love to see these things taken off the market. In the mean time, if you have on of these devices, please have the decency to use it on a frequency that doesn't already have a radio station on it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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