FCC Nixes MMTC's Proposal To Expand 'Qualified Entity' Definition For Sirius XM Leased Channels
February 3, 2012 at 4:12 AM (PT)
The FCC has denied the MINORITY MEDIA AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS COUNCIL's request that it change definition of the term "Qualified Entity" to permit additional entities to qualify for the leased set-aside channels on SIRIUS XM RADIO.
The MMTC had called the Commission's conditions on the set-aside channels "vague and ambiguous" because the definition of "Qualified Entity" did not make clear whether programmers with limited previous relationships with SIRIUS or XM could qualify, that it did not include "non-racial categories of programmers" that it said would enhance diversity, and asked the Commission to declare that the definition in this case would not be precedential for other cases.
The Commission said that it had been specific about companies with prior relationships with the satellite company and did not wish to expand the definition of "qualified entity" that way, and said that it was not persuaded that explicitly adding non-racial categories was necessary because the present rules direct SIRIUS XM to consider the issue of offering diverse viewpoints to historically underserved audiences.