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Guest Message by DevFuse

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XM / Sirius merger approved by FCC Chairman- With conditions.


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61 replies to this topic

#21 OFFLINE   Paul Secic

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Posted 16 June 2008 - 03:27 PM

Howard Stern made Sirius radio as big as it is, now Martha Stewart that was a mistake. As far as free marketplace, depends on how you define it. Sirius/XM argue they have to compete against all forms of new media (IPod, Wireless, etc.).

This deal is so tiny compared to the mammoth monopolistic deals that were approved in no time. Take a look at the Exxon Mobil deal or the Whirlpool-Maytag which breezed thru approval. Most of the opposition to this deal has come from the NAB and officials they have paid off. Haven't heard many consumers because its such a small marketshare and many things like "ala carte" programming has been promised which is a good thing.


I have to agree with you that the FTC & FCC took way too much time twiddling their thumbs!

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#22 OFFLINE   bones boy

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Posted 16 June 2008 - 03:38 PM

The headline to this post is misleading. Nothing has been approved yet. The chairman has recommended approval of the deal. It still needs to be voted on by members of the FCC.

#23 OFFLINE   JJJBBB

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Posted 16 June 2008 - 03:45 PM

Howard will be very happy, so I will be very happy. Tuesdays show should be excellent for all. .:D


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#24 OFFLINE   Christopher Gould

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Posted 16 June 2008 - 03:59 PM

Well, if it has to go through, it is good that they are not being made to give back half the capacity, but I still think the merger is a bad idea.

I would not hold my breath for the open radio standard. I am sure they will put the same crack team that was working on the interoperable radios on it. Funny how they are saying in response to criticism on the lack of interaparable radios, that they did develop them, but never made them because without a subsidy, they would be too expensive. Now, they say as part of this deal that they will have them out within a year. Unless that year turns to 3 months, I call BS on that as if the design was all done, it should not take a year to come out with one.


i don't think they have any problems getting a dual radios. i think they already have them. they were dragging there feet before, because as seperate companies they wouldn't want u jumping ship to the other so easy. plus i thought i heard that the rules the open standard had to be devloped, but did not say it had to be marketed.

#25 OFFLINE   ehilbert1

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Posted 16 June 2008 - 04:19 PM

This is a bad idea. It eliminates any competition, screws up free market and forces XM customers to bail Sirius out of the stupid Howard Stern deal.


The Howard deal put Sirius on the map. It brought in millions of subscribers. You want to talk about stupid deals? XM bit the big one on the Oprah deal. They pay her what $50 to $60 million for her to be on a half hour a week. She brought in no subscribers. That was a stupid deal that Sirius has to bail XM out of. Atleast Howard brought in subscibers and the subscribers he brought in has already paid for his deal.

#26 OFFLINE   CopyCat

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Posted 16 June 2008 - 04:41 PM

The big shame in all this is that they (FCC) can let anyone receive remote stations on satellite radio, but thanks to those in Congress not understanding the bill they passed and listening to the hired lobby for local TV stations we can not receive remote (distant) TV networks via satellite.

Shame on those sheep following the party line.

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#27 OFFLINE   Steve Mehs

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Posted 16 June 2008 - 07:05 PM

Just a thought, but don't they have 24+ redundant channels right now? e.g. ESPN Radio, CNN, etc. So they should just be able to remove the redundancy and give the bandwidth to public interestest without affecting any unique channels.

Of course, they may also determine that some music channels of the same genre are redundant, whereas you (or others) find them unique.



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#28 OFFLINE   waynenm

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Posted 16 June 2008 - 08:31 PM

Which means 15 channels are at risk? If we lose XM 40, 45, 50, 70 and some of my other favorites. I'll be going back to MP3s in the car..
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#29 OFFLINE   Drew2k

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Posted 16 June 2008 - 08:43 PM

Why is there an assumption that channels will be dropped? Is each provider maxed out on bandwidth? If they're not, I would expect with the combined might of the two companies they could figure out a way to add 15+ new channels to meet the FCC requirements for public service channels (assuming the 9 redundant channels identified by Steve are re-purposed to the same end) so that no existing unique channels are dropped.

#30 OFFLINE   waynenm

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Posted 16 June 2008 - 09:34 PM

I hope you're right Drew. I really like XM, and it would be like the many times I've lost favorite FM stations over the years if channels are dropped for no reason. If you're willing to pay for a subscription, and that includes commercial free content, it's a bit daunting to have the provider start screwing with your programming. I guess we'll all see what happens next.
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#31 OFFLINE   James Long

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Posted 17 June 2008 - 12:16 AM

Why is there an assumption that channels will be dropped? Is each provider maxed out on bandwidth?

How many channels were 'borrowed' for sports coverage? If they don't have space for seven or eight channels free for the overflowing sports where are they going to the the space for new permanent channels?

If this deal is accepted it's either lost channels or more compression.

#32 OFFLINE   ajc68

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Posted 17 June 2008 - 12:49 AM

So why not get new satellites up there to alleviate the space issues?

#33 OFFLINE   paulman182

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Posted 17 June 2008 - 04:05 AM

The big shame in all this is that they (FCC) can let anyone receive remote stations on satellite radio, but thanks to those in Congress not understanding the bill they passed and listening to the hired lobby for local TV stations we can not receive remote (distant) TV networks via satellite.


The difference is that the TV stations do not want to be received by distant viewers, but the radio stations do want to be on satellite.

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#34 OFFLINE   Teagore

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Posted 17 June 2008 - 06:43 AM

i just want to get a few things straight here, it's really annoying reading people speculate about some of this when i know some of the answers because i pay attention to a service that i am paying for. first, the radios. Mel Karmazin, the ceo of sirius, who would also be the ceo of the new combined company, has stated on Howards show several times that new radios are not necessary right away because they can simulcast stations across the radios. picking up xm stations on sirius radios and vice-versa. it has to do with cost and convenience. imagine microsoft buying nintendo, do you think both companies would still make their own game systems? same thing here. second, as far as who is bailing who out. It has been stated by several people (including Mel) that if the merger didn't go through, one of the companies would more then likely declare bankruptcy, and then be bought by the surviving company anyway. but going that route has drawbacks for the bankrupt company. so yes, it is needed by both companies, but more then likely one of them was going to go bye-bye anyway. but it's funny how the company who'[s doing the buying (sirius) has a stock price of $2.62 and xm as a stock price of $11.30. who's bailing out who? third, tcusta00, i don't know where you get your numbers from, but if you check http:///www.orbitcas...is-closing.html you will see just how close in the numbers the two companies really are. the reason the merger has taken soooo long is because of the free radio lobbyists putting $$ in the pockets of the people who vote on these things. they are a big group with a lot of influence. you think taking this long is normal? they have been against the merger from the beginning. lastly, as far as the bandwidth issue goes, i fully expect dozens of music channels to go bye-bye. using up all that bandwidth for duplicates of the same music "categories" would be a waste. 2 70's channels, 2 90's channels, ect. the only real issue is the 2 companies deciding what channels to keep from each others programming when they consolidate. btw, sorry if this came off as a bullish rant :hurah:
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#35 OFFLINE   Lee L

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Posted 17 June 2008 - 07:03 AM

For some info not straight from the company, the services are both maxed out right now and they want to do video. If they have to give services to public intrest channels, they have to either drop some they have now or starve them for bit rate. This will have a massive impact on quality as the current sound quality suffers at times.

As far as not needing a radio, how will they give me the simulcast channels considering the bandwidth crunch? They can;t. So, I guess they are just going to kill the quality to give me some Sirius channels that I do not want, since if I did want them, I am free to get Sirius tomorrow. If they would bring out a new radio, then I could at least getboth.

Then, how can they say that they only needed to develop a dual band radio but not sell, it, that is marketing BS straight from the Sat Radio companies. Why would they Feds have that requirement in the original deal if they did not mean for the radio to be sold? It was widely reported when the services debuted that they would be coming out with dual band radios soon and both companies never said a thing to deny it, while basking in all the free publicity the news stories gave them. Of course, the original license also said no merger, but why let those silly little things stop us?


Yes there is some duplication, but again, how can that save bandwidth if I have no radio to pick up and decode the Sirus frequencies? Sure, they could take all the decades channels on the 2 services and save 7 channels, but since Mel does not think I need a new radio, they still have to send out the same thing twice. THe best thing they can do is leave everythign alone until they can change out radios for people and then make the changes.


I would love to be proven wrong, but this is not a good deal for the consumers of Satellite radio. Maybe one or both would have gone out, but what we will get out of this is no better IMO. At least if one went out, another company migh have decided to give it a try.


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#36 OFFLINE   itguy05

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Posted 17 June 2008 - 08:30 AM

Why is there an assumption that channels will be dropped? Is each provider maxed out on bandwidth?


Have you heard XM from the satellites lately? Compresssssed to the maxxxxxx. They are treading on being out of bandwidth based on the latest lack of SQ.

#37 OFFLINE   James Long

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Posted 17 June 2008 - 09:12 AM

The difference is that the TV stations do not want to be received by distant viewers, but the radio stations do want to be on satellite.

There is also a rights difference. Any TV station can be aired in any market that the station wants ... all they have to do is sign an agreement with a satellite carrier and have the rights to air their programs in that "foreign" market. The first part is pointless without the second ... who wants to watch WNBC out of NY with all the NBC, syndicated and regional rights content blacked out?

There are market exclusives in radio ... perhaps if satellite radio grows it will go the same way as satellite TV ... with rights owners protecting the local station contracts by not allowing a satellite competitor. Then again perhaps satellite radio will be allowed to continue being above exclusive rights. It's all up to the industry.

#38 OFFLINE   satwood

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Posted 17 June 2008 - 10:03 AM

Here is an interesting commentary on this subject from some colleagues of mine.

http://displaydaily....video-services/

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#39 OFFLINE   Drew2k

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Posted 17 June 2008 - 07:37 PM

Have you heard XM from the satellites lately? Compresssssed to the maxxxxxx. They are treading on being out of bandwidth based on the latest lack of SQ.

As opposed to XM from ....?

Yes, I have heard XM from the satellite lately - every day in fact, as it's in the car - and it sounds great to me.

#40 OFFLINE   Drew2k

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Posted 17 June 2008 - 07:39 PM

Mel Karmazin, the ceo of sirius, who would also be the ceo of the new combined company, has stated on Howards show several times that new radios are not necessary right away because they can simulcast stations across the radios. picking up xm stations on sirius radios and vice-versa.

So you're saying they each have the bandwidth to simulcast the alternate service? Hmmm ...

Compresssssed to the maxxxxxx. They are treading on being out of bandwidth based on the latest lack of SQ.


Others here think they're already overcompressed as it is, implying that there is NO bandwidth ...




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