updated 02:55 pm EST, Mon February 18, 2008
NAB Fight Sirius XM Local
The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) today urged the the Federal Communications Commission to block satellite radio providers Sirius and XM from offering local broadcasting, hoping to claim an edge for terrestrial radio in the event that the proposed merger between Sirius and XM is completed. A recent filing by NAB to the FCC points out that both Sirius and XM have an alleged record of 'misbehavior' in adopting the FCC's rules and should be prevented from taking this abuse to local stations: both Sirius and XM have admitted to unauthorized or misused antennas and repeaters, according to the NAB's claims.
The NAB says it hopes to protect those it represents. However, the radio promotion group has also admitted that it hopes to block other expansion moves that would provide access to satellite radio in areas which satellite radio is normally unavailable, such as Sirius plans to install repeaters in Alaska or Hawaii. The association has often contended that a Sirius and XM union would constitute a monopoly that provides an unfair advantage against land-based radio.
Sirius, XM, and supporters have not responded to the immediate complaints by the NAB but have in the past argued that expansion and a potential merger would be beneficial to the public as a genuine alternative to land radio and other forms of entertainment, such as iPods and Internet streams.