[opendtv] Re: Satellite radio

  • From: "Manfredi, Albert E" <albert.e.manfredi@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 26 Sep 2007 11:29:21 -0400

Craig Birkmaier wrote:


"Of course, there is also the very real risk that a combined XM/Sirius
will use its market power to force content providers like sports
programmers to deal only with them. If the merger is approved, it may
only be a matter of time before the American public can listen to their
favorite baseball or college football team by paying whatever monopoly
rents a combined XM/Sirius chooses to charge."

> A bit of logical analysis quickly pokes holes in their argument.

Fair enough, but then your beef is with them, not with me. I stated what
the NAB position was, and that's not in dispute.

> You may find HD radio to be compelling in a large market like D.C.,
> however, if you drive in any direction from D.C. you will need to
> frequently change stations as you move from market to market.

That's a matter of personal preference. I actually enjoy changing
stations as I travel, just as much as I enjoy watching the scenery
change. On the other hand, my wife gets annoyed when FM stations fade in
and out some. To each his own, I guess.

> And, as I pointed out, Satellite radio's biggest competitor is
> the iPod, not broadcast radio.

That's your opinion. The NAB and the satellite radio companies don't

IMO, the iPod competes with the old cassette players, even in cars.
Recorded music, tailored to each personal taste. Satellite radio
directly competes with AM/FM/IBOC, in that it supports live programming.
Keeps you in touch. They are two different forms of entertainment. And
some of the programs do indeed appear in both FTA radio and satellite
radio, such as NPR. On the iPod? Only as stale old podcasts.

"More specifically here, having monopoly status would enable the united
XM and Sirius to stop agreeing to pay outrageous talent salaries and to
exert greater pressure on programming suppliers. Eliminating competition
in the national mobile radio market through this proposed merger would
also greatly reduce incentives for the combined XM and Sirius to

>> Why would the NAB object to either eliminating "outrageous
>> talent salaries" or to satellite radio becoming stale? Makes no
>> sense to me.
> Exactly!
> The larger threat to FTA radio is that the content oligopoly is
> going to force them to pay ever higher fees for the music and other
> content they deliver. This is already happening. What was once a
> potent promotional tool for the music industry is now viewed as
> another distribution channel that they can milk for new revenues.

That makes a lot more sense than the NAB position. Even assuming it was
true that a satellite monopoly could force DOWN those outrageous
"talent" salaries, it's inconceivable to me that such a downward trend
would *hurt* FTA radio broadcasters. So what is the NAB complaining
about, on that subject? That's my question.

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