new-nab-logo.gifWhile Ibiqity's FCC filings in the proposed merger between Sirius and XM indicate that they do not see themselves at the point of being viable competition for satellite radio yet, their feelings discussed in a National Association of Broadcasters board meeting paint a different picture. That's sometimes how things are though.

NAB BOARD MEETING EXCEPT

Bob Struble, president of iBiquity Digital Radio Corp., updated the Board on what he termed a "breakthrough year" for HD Radio in 2007. He noted that HD Radio receiver sales topped 330,000 in 2007, compared to 40,000 the previous year. He thanked NAB for its support of HD Radio and urged broadcasters to continue to expand promotional efforts to help boost consumer demand.

Caroline Beasley, chair of the HD Radio Technology Advancement Task Force, briefed the Board on efforts by the Task Force and the HD Radio Alliance to target auto manufacturers with positive HD Radio messages. The goal is to encourage carmakers to "fully equip" vehicles with an HD Radio.

Given the data presented, HD Radio saw growth of 825% in HD radio sales from 2006 to 2007, and now stands at 370,000 consumers. For Comparison, it Took XM six quarters to reach the same level of penetration and Sirius 9 quarters.

Interestingly, HD Radio has stated in FCC filings that the exclusive deals are prohibiting them from being included in the OEM channel. Sirius Buzz has pointed out that this is not the case, and that HD Radio is free to negotiate with OEM's. It appears that is exactly what they intend to do with their statement that they will "encourage" auto makers to fully equip vehicles.

It is always interesting seeing how the "argument" changes depending on the audience that is listening.

Position - Long Sirius, Long XM