The Deal With HD
This is regarding Newman's article here.
Newman brings up an interesting perspective. Everyone has been adamantly against the HD radio propositions, and rightfully so. Brandon's excellent article spelled out many of the reasons why. However, it seems that a lot of the recent buzz has surrounded Adelstein and Markey's extended rate freeze and 25% of spectrum divestiture. He also wants an HD chip in every radio, but that hasn't been well publicized. It might be worthwhile to reconsider our position on HD radio, as it might be a powerful olive branch.
After some thought, if given a choice between either the rate freeze or the amount of spectrum and the HD radio inclusion, I think I would take HD radio. As Newman says, Ibiquity has to pay for it. That is a no-brainer. But if you think about it, this isn't so different than satellite competing with traditional AM/FM radio. Given all the complaints about HD, and the poor quality of terrestrial broadcasting, I still think the majority of consumers would choose to fork out the $$$ for satrad. Giving spectrum to a party like Georgetown who might try to launch competing channels at no charge could be far more damaging to the merged companies.
I agree with Newman's post. The question is, would Ibquity ever agree to something like that? They seem to have made no indication they they would be willing to foot the bill.
I have to hope that FCC comissioners as intelligent people would have asked this question, and share our sense of disbelief that HD would be asking for Sirius to pay the cost of including someone else's technology. The concession itself is making the competiting technology readily available, they shouldn't be further penalized for paying for it.
And maybe if the issue is being discussed behind doors, I think it's time it made it out into the press. Sirius and XM should publically extend that olive branch. It really would go a long way in showing their cooperation, but they would also be able to bring the cost issue to the forefront of the public.
As Dlite and many others here have pointed out. Including it is not a real competitive threat to Sirius. There's a lot more dangerous concessions on the table here, and the sooner we can slam the book on these goons the better.
Wasn't it Tate that asked iBiquity to estimate the cost of installing the HD chip? The $10-12 figure they provided was very liberal, so I would hope they would ask a 3rd party to make the estimate before deciding.
Another alternative would be to pass on the cost of the HD chip to the consumer. I'm very much against this option, but I would prefer it over Sirius XM footing the bill, and would still take it over spectrum auctions and price freezes.
there in lies the problem. Ibiquity proposes that sirius foot the bill. It still bother me that the government can order us what kind of radios the car manufacturers must install and we must listen to.
Newman, I have a problem with this, on many scales. On the more grand scale it first, gos against what made this country great in the first place, which was capitalism. Everytime the government gets involved in something it messes it up (SS., Medicare, ethenal, ect., ect., ect.). One only has to look at anything they got involved in. The free market is the answer to most things take for instance the solar power issue if people wanted it then they would be breaking the doors down at the Home Depo to buy panels. Then solar companies would build them to make the money and would design better ones to stay ahead of the competetion in what would be a profitable market if people were breaking the doors down at the Home Depo.
Second, you cant tell me that this is not wrong on so many levels that it just stinks. Where is it written that one company should help its competition. Even if HD pays for it to be put into satellite radio, does that still not make it more expensive for the consumer to buy that radio to get something they did not want in the first place. What in gods name is right about that; absolutely nothing.
So in closing, just because the government wants it, does not make it the right thing to do(you and I know that, they want HD for whatever reason, to be giving over 200 million to get it started). Just because they are sick of financing it, does not mean I as a subscriber or a shareholder in SIRI/XMSR should. If I want HD I (the market) will make that decision.
Dlite, I for one would much rather have a price freeze, I tell you a little secret; The prices will stay low regaurdless of the government wanting it or not, for at least the next several years. It is a secret because most that think these concessions are a big deal are fooling themselves. I have given limited examples as to why, because the last thing I want to do is help anyone not in favor of this merger to see something they have not already. I will say if you look at them, they for the most part actually help SIRI/XMSR, not hurt them.
Wow, I am surprised that I actually have some support on this issue. :D I figured everyone would be against it.
Your postings are exactly what I was thinking:
1) No one likes it anyways, so it does not represent a true threat to SatRad anyways.
2) With my HD "Concessions", I think it mostly protects the consumers and Sirius/XM from having to pay the costs for HD radios gain.
3) I specifically added in there that Sirius/XM and their affiliates do not have to advertizse or support HD radio. If HD wants the advertising, they need to pay for it. Chevy, Ford, etc do not ever need to mention anything about HD radio, unless HD puts up their own incentives for them to do so.
Another stipulation that I should mention should be something to the affect that the production of recievers should never be unnecessarily be slowed down due to a shortage of HD chips. If the chips are not available, that is HD's problem, not Sirius/XM's problem. Sounds like a fine way to screw with SatRad: "Oops, we are out of chips. We should be getting more in 6 months. Stop making your radios like the FCC said!"
Newman, so let me get this straight. You think that Ibiquity, who is already looking like they want satellite radio to pay the 10 to 12 dollars in chip subsidy, also will pay a subsidy, so that it cost no extra to get the consumer who wants satellite radio by itself. I say you need to get real. It will cost us in the end trust me.
Newman,The thing that is so scary to me is that so many people here are in favor of this kind of thing. If you ask me it smacks of desperation on their part. Well you can count me out, I am never that desperate. I dont think Mel is ether, thank god that a reasonable man is at the head of the wheel. I am glad you guys are just shareholders and not making decisions for the company.
Yes because spinning your tires on the mud while the FCC stone walls you is so much more beneficial to the future of the company.