Georgetown Partners Complains About Sirius TV Broadcasts
July 14, 2008 at 8:15 AM (PT)
The FCC's Enforcement Bureau has been asked by GEORGETOWN PARTNERS to issue an order stopping SIRIUS SATELLITE RADIO's unauthorized satellite live television broadcasting using spectrum that the Commission licensed exclusively for satellite radio broadcasting, and to conduct an investigation into SIRIUS's misuse of spectrum, reports FOX BUSINESS.
In the FCC filings, GEORGETOWN stated that it "adamantly opposes delivering to SIRIUS cartfulls of taxpayer dollars by granting spectrum flexibility for it to broadcast television, while at the same time SIRIUS denies that there is sufficient spectrum to provide for a satellite radio competitor such as that proposed by GEORGETOWN ... By SIRIUS' own admission, its television service is planned to occupy up to 20% of its spectrum, so obviously 20% of the spectrum is available for something other than digital radio services and could be made available to provide competition. Doing so would go a long way to satisfying the competition requirements of the Commission's public interest standard that must be met for the merger to be approved.
"We could establish a competitive alternative voice using just the 20% of spectrum capacity that SIRIUS admits it is planning to use for broadcasting television instead of for radio. It now is crystal clear on the record that SIRIUS/XM does not require the entire 25 MHz swath of spectrum to provide digital audio radio programs. Given the extreme scarcity of spectrum allocated for SDARS -- there is only that which is licensed to SIRIUS and XM -- we again urge the Commission to deny the merger unless it conditions approval of the merger upon a lease for the purpose of providing an independent voice for satellite audio consumers and establishing competition to the resulting merged entity. Competition by a structural remedy is a viable alternative to the more detailed regulation necessary to oversee a monopoly," GEORGETOWN stated.