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By Film Threat Staff | February 20, 2007

Satellite radio providers Sirius and XM announced on Monday, 2/19/07, that they will merge. But will the FCC approve? Currently seen as the only satellite games in town, the FCC is not known for granting monopolies, specifically blocking a previous deal between two satellite television providers, EchoStar and DirecTV, in 2003.

“If the only competition to XM is Sirius, then you don’t let the deal through,” said Blair Levin, managing director of Stifel Nicolaus & Company and a former FCC chief of staff.

Supporters of the merger contend that satellite is not just competing with other satellite providers, but also with the internet, HD radio and regular terrestrial radio, therefore making it unlike the cable vs. satellite television debate. Detractors, however, have lined up against the XM-Sirius merger, including the National Association of Broadcasters who chimed in with:

“In coming weeks, policy makers will have to weigh whether an industry that makes Howard Stern its poster child should be rewarded with a monopoly.”

It’s always about Howard Stern, isn’t it?

Read the whole story at the New York Times>>>

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