Bill Blocking Local Material On Satellite Radio Introduced In Senate
March 15, 2006 at 3:47 PM (PT)
Sens. OLYMPIA SNOWE (R-ME), MAX BAUCUS (D-MT), and TRENT LOTT (R-MS) have introduced a bill requiring the FCC to launch a rulemaking to "preserve local radio broadcast emergency and other services." The bill slaps further restrictions on satellite radio's ability to provide local programming, and makes the FCC hold a rulemaking proceeding to examine whether to continue to allow the satellite systems to broadcast local material on national channels, as they do now with traffic and weather. The bill is similar to H.R. 998, which is making its way through Congress.
A statement from NAB Pres./CEO DAVID REHR lauded the new bill, saying "It is crystal clear that both XM and SIRIUS– with nearly $1 billion in combined losses last year and having failed as a national programming service– are skirting the intent of their original FCC licenses. This bill holds satellite radio accountable to those licenses.
"With introduction of today’s legislation – coupled with a companion bill in the House - NAB looks forward to educating lawmakers on the invaluable role played by free, local radio every day in communities all across AMERICA."