Clear Channel Outlines Sirius-XM Merger Concessions
March 14, 2008 at 5:30 AM (PT)
CLEAR CHANNEL COMMUNICATIONS outlined its most detailed concession requirements in a filing with FCC posted TODAY, should the Commission approve the merger between SIRIUS SATELLITE RADIO INC. and XM SATELLITE RADIO HOLDINGS INC, reports ORBITCAST.COM. While earlier FCC filings have essentially reiterated CLEAR CHANNEL's prior argument that granting the merger would permit for too much spectrum control for a single entity, the filing posted online TODAY gives the most level of detail about merger concessions.
"Were the Commission inclined to approve the merger, nonetheless, it should, at a minimum, impose the following conditions that would be essential to remain even remotely faithful to Commission precedents and policies regarding competition, spectrum and preservation of a viable, locally-oriented, free, over-the-air radio broadcast system," the company wrote in an ex parte filing.
The merger conditions that CLEAR CHANNEL is requesting include:
* No less than 50% of broadcast capacity be made available for lease to create "a viable competitive alternative" to the merged company.
* No less than 5% of capacity be set aside for public interest programming, modeled after the 4-7% requirement for DBS services.
* That Sirius-XM be subject to indecency regulations. Because, "one of the primary potential dangers to free, over-the-air radio posed by this merger is siphoning popular, including 'edgy' content, with consequent loss of advertising revenue."
* Sirius-XM be prohibited from broadcasting local content.
* Sirius-XM be prohibited from receiving local advertising revenue.
* The FCC require that HD Radio capabilities be built in to all satellite radio receivers.
View the filing here.