Report: Clear Channel Pushes For HD Tech In Sat Radios
November 24, 2008 at 6:24 AM (PT)
The ongoing debate at the FCC concerning the incorporation of competing radio technology in satellite radio receivers has generated a competitive twist, reports MEDIABIZ.COM's SKYREPORT. The FCC is taking comments on whether technologies like HD Radio should be a required part of satellite radio receivers, an inquiry launched by the agency after it approved the merger between SIRIUS and XM. In its comments, radio giant CLEAR CHANNEL said all satellite radio receivers should have HD Radio reception capability.
CLEAR CHANNEL took its comments one step further, taking aim at regulations governing local radio station ownership.
"The commission's harmful decisions to retain without even very modest modification its local radio ownership rules despite evidence of abundant competition, and to bless the formation of a monopoly SDARS (satellite digital audio radio service), have severely tilted the market against free local radio, undermining the longstanding policy goals of promoting competitive, locally-focused and diverse audio programming," CLEAR CHANNEL stated in its filing.
The radio company also said the "competitive importance of the spectrum advantage conferred upon SIRIUS XM by the commission's approval of their merger cannot be overstated. SIRIUS can now provide more than 300 possible channels in every local market, or two to three times the number of channels as all of the local radio broadcast channels - AM and FM - combined in that market."
On the HD front, CLEAR CHANNEL said it is investing "significant resources" in converting stations to the all-digital audio format. Nonetheless, "it is clear that the digital conversion of stations and the creation of new programming are not sufficient because the market for HD receivers is not working efficiently, principally because of distortions caused by the satellite radio monopoly," the company said.