Radio

Satellite Radio Love

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The FCC has finally approved the XM-Sirius nuptials, but first it added some conditions to the ketubah. From the Washington Post's account:

The companies must cap prices for three years after joining and allow consumers to choose the channels they want and pay less for packages of channels. Radios that allow a la carte channel selections will eventually be available for car dashboards—the largest area of growth. The companies said they would introduce radios that receive both XM and Sirius channels.

Elsewhere in Reason: More on the merger from Radley Balko and from me.

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  1. I love the smell of the free market in the morning? What? It’s 4 pm? And regulatory conditions? My bad.

  2. The XM radio came in my 08 Chevy. I’m signed up for another 10 months. I wish I had Sirius. XM’s jazz and classical stations SUCK ASS. Plus their “13 channels of continuous news” are almost all cable news. Which means the 52% of the time they aren’t advertising, you’re listening to news meant to be watched (the ads of course are radio ads, ‘how to make a million dollars’, ‘how to cure your flabby penis’, ‘how to loose 40-50 lbs’ etc). I don’t see this merger doing anything good for me.

  3. No wonder XM is sticking to its defective $14/mo. fee, even though few actually pay that. They’re just demonstrating to the Effceecee that the price cap needs to be $20/mo.

    So, considering the success of previous price controls and mandated a la carte schemes, I can safely expect that I will not be able to renew at $7/mo. Xirius will be motivated to keep business bad with high prices and letter-of-the-law stupid a la carte schemes so that the feds will maintain their newly government-blessed monopoly.

    I guess I’ll need to be getting an HD radio receiver now.

  4. Oh Noes! An evil monopoly. Nobody will be able to get satellite radio without patronizing this corporate behemouth!

    I know how stupid that is. I’m just prepping you all for the inevitable lefty condemnations.

  5. To clarify, I don’t have any issue with the merger. I do have a problem with FCC conditions that entangle the government in the satellite radio business.

  6. Maybe I should have said “government-embraced monopoly”. I can’t call it “government-enforced” yet, since the FCC hasn’t yet quashed any potential competitors.

  7. When the combined entity goes bust(*), I wonder how much blame will be put on the FCC?

    (*) Which will take longer than the uncombined entities going bust by themselves. I’m not criticizing the merger, but rather the FCC being such a roadblock to their mutual survival.

  8. Rimfax –
    I’m with you on the feds telling them how to run a business that already has competitionn from so many quarters. Regular radio, recorded music, books on tape, silence …

  9. I’m just prepping you all for the inevitable lefty condemnations.

    I got prepped from 1983-1992, my high school and college years. But thanks for thinking of me, Jay Sub.

  10. Huh. Maybe the Howard Stern show will finally shut up about it and stop sucking.

  11. J sub: THERE AREN’T ANY OTHER SATELLITE RADIO COMPANIES!!!! THEY’LL CONTROL *EVERYTHING*11111 THEY’LL BE ABLE TO CHARGE WHATEVER THEY WANT!

    And yes, all the conditions in the merger are teh retard. When I saw all the idiotic conditions that Congress and the tools at the FCC piled on, I knew they were just having the most wonderful circle-jerk over at the NAB. I’m sure they thought that they had poisoned the whole thing and the merger would fail.

    Then XM and Sirius agreed to everything. D’oh! Still, it reads like the scene in Robocop 2 where they come up with all his new and uber-friendly directives:

    “DIRECTIVE 248: Don’t say that you are always prompt when you are not. – DIRECTIVE 249: Don’t be oversensitive to the hostility and negativity of others. – DIRECTIVE 250: Don’t walk across a ballroom floor swinging your arms. – DIRECTIVE 254: Encourage awareness. – DIRECTIVE 256: Discourage harsh language. – DIRECTIVE 258: Commend sincere efforts. – DIRECTIVE 261: Talk things out.”

    Still one of the funnier scenes in cinema. I have both services, so the merger is s’OK by me.

  12. Sorry…sloppy clicking…

  13. I can’t call it “government-enforced” yet, since the FCC hasn’t yet quashed any potential competitors.

    Well, it did reject two additional bids for satellite radio licenses back when it created the service in the first place, even though it could have accommodated them by putting more spectrum on the table…

  14. Maybe the Howard Stern show will finally …stop sucking.

    Fat chance.

  15. Jesse, I read your link at the bottom as coverage of the “merger between Radley Balko and me.” I was too afraid to click!

  16. The companies said they would introduce radios that receive both XM and Sirius channels.

    The new radio just will be twice as big, and cost twice as much.

  17. Oh Noes! An evil monopoly. Nobody will be able to get satellite radio without patronizing this corporate behemouth!

    It’s right there in the preamble to the Constitution:

    We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, and have a choice of a minimum of two radio services received from satellites in geosynchronous orbit above the 13 colonies, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

  18. So are they still going to have to add a boatload of minorty/public interest channels?

  19. So when are we going to start the anti-trust hearings against public schools/AMTRAK/AMA or other government protected monopolies?

    Oh wait all those organizations have paid their extortion money to the mafia, so they don’t have to worry about Vito (Harry Reid) coming after them.

  20. Installed a mini-RCA jack in my car and never looked back or touched my radio again.

  21. have a choice of a minimum of two radio services received from satellites in geosynchronous orbit above the 13 colonies,

    Technically, the XM satelites are in geostationary orbit directly above the equator, not North America.

    And the Sirius ones are in geosynchronous highly elliptical orbits which at most, just barely clip the edge of Georgia.

  22. Maybe the Howard Stern show will finally …stop sucking.

    You’re out of luck.

    If taking a listener base of 600,000 to 6 million plus and helping the number two sat company move into a position to buy the number one (by a mile) sat company is your definition of sucking then I doubt Sirius would want Stern to stop.

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