COMMENTARY

The Buzz on Satellite Radio

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Monday, September 17, 2007

The following are excerpts of public comments submitted to the Federal Communications Commission in connection with the proposed merger of XM Satellite Radio of the District and Sirius Satellite Radio.

"The sole control of currently available radio spectrum -- both technologically and legally -- would effectively stymie competition for black-owned businesses. Currently, XM and Sirius use incompatible delivery systems, rendering the possibility of similar programming nearly nil for the coming years. The result would eliminate opportunities for new entrants into the radio marketplace, particularly African-American businesses, from fair competition and severely reduce the provision of low-cost satellite packages to subscribers. Since the elimination of a tax incentive for radio ownership of people of color in the 1990s, there has been a dismal decrease in racial inclusion in the radio industry. If XM and Sirius were to merge, such a tragedy would worsen."

-- Gary L. Flowers, chief executive of Black Leadership Forum

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"I just want to express my feelings on the proposed merger. Right now I have Sirius and I love football. But I like baseball and I can't afford to pay two different services (Sirius and XM) to get baseball and football. I think it would be great and in the consumer's interest to have one satellite radio service that broadcasts baseball and football. Why should I have to choose between baseball and football?"

-- Frank Stanislovaitis, Gladwin, Mich.

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