Minority equity attacks XM/Sirius


If XM and Sirius are to become one, then the combined entity will need to make arrangements for competition in the form of subleasing broadcast infrastructure and channel capacity to a minority-controlled entity. So says Georgetown Partners, which bills itself as "a leading minority-owned public equity firm" and also volunteers to be the beneficiary of the lease. GP Managing Partner Chester C. Davenport said such an arrangement would "establish a viable competitor to the Sirius-XM combined entity; achieve the broader public interest objectives of the FCC by encouraging minority participation in the operation and control of broadcast spectrum; and assure consumers of satellite radio programming of quality and quantity of content through the introduction of a viable competitor to the post-merger Sirius-XM." He said without such a plank, the combined entity would have a "stranglehold" on nationwide audio program delivery, and that as structured, the merger "…fails to meet any definition of serving the public interest, convenience and necessity as required by Section 310(d) of the Communications Act."

Meanwhile, a pair of Senators has backed the merger. Jim DeMint (R-SC) is a fan of family-friendly tiers and content blocking options, and John Ensign (R-NV) said he hopes "…other entertainment providers will follow XM-SIRIUS’ lead and offer Americans increased choices and customization."

RBR/TVBR observation: What is Ensign proposing, that we just go ahead and give all the AM and FM stations to one company? We must have missed the Econ 101 class where they explained how one goes about increasing choice by eliminating the one and only choice in existence.