As part of gaining permission for a merger, surviving satcaster entity Sirius XM is dedicating a tier of channels to diverse outside programmers. It has now posted information on what it takes to qualify and set a proposal deadline of 1/7/11.
The site containing the pertinent information was referred to in a release by the FCC and is already available for perusal. It is located at www.siriusxm.com/qualifiedentity.
From the page located there, the satcaster defines a qualified entity: “The FCC has made this set-aside available only to lessees that (1) are not directly or indirectly owned, in whole or in part, by Sirius XM or an affiliate of Sirius XM; (2) do not share any common officers, directors or employees with Sirius XM or any affiliate of Sirius XM; and (3) do not have any existing relationships with Sirius XM for the supply of programming during the two years prior to October 19, 2010.
It says what it is looking for: “In selecting programming for this set-aside, we are looking for the following: Programming representing diverse viewpoints and/or diverse entertainment content; improved service to historically underserved audiences; original content of a type not otherwise available to Sirius XM subscribers; access to new sources of content and new entrants to mass media. Applications should demonstrate that proposer has the financial, operational, and technical ability to perform its obligations under the lease. We will select programmers that, in our judgment, will be able to meet their obligations and deliver their proposed mix or type of programming for the duration of the lease term.
It also refers potential applicants to several relevant websites for more information.
The company notes that it plans to make tentative programmer selections by 3/2/11 and sign leasing agreements by 4/17/11.
RBR-TVBR observation: In the current regulatory and legal environment, it is virtually impossible for the government to steer anything to a specific societal niche, and with that in mind, MMTC recently petitioned the FCC to at least make an attempt to guide Sirius XM’s selections, suggesting guidelines that offered specifics leavened with an appropriate level of vagueness.
From what it looks like, however, Sirius XM has the intent and spirit of the tier in mind. Of course, the proof will be in the pudding. It will be interesting to see what services get the nod.