Clear Channel Still Lobbying For Satellite+HD Radio Receivers
November 20, 2008
One of the conditions suggested for the Sirius-XM merger was the inclusion of HD Radio technology in future satellite radio receivers. Clear Channel is reportedly still pushing for this condition, according to a new filing with the FCC. According to Radio Business Report, CC has suggested to the Commission that satellite receivers should include HD Radio capabilities to help keep local terrestrial radio competitive.
Clear Channel summarized its filing by writing, "Moreover, 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 have severely tilted the market against free local radio, undermining the longstanding policy goals of promoting competitive, locally-focused and diverse audio programming. The magnitude and 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."
Meanwhile, Forbes reports that Clear Channel spent close to $1.1 million on lobbying in the third quarter of 2008. The money went towards lobbying for digital billboards, broadcast decency battles and the satellite radio merger, among other items. CC also put money towards lobbying involving private equity deals and its own quest to go private earlier this year.