National Public Radio has stepped up their meeting schedule with the FCC, this time meeting with the legal adviser for Commissioner Tate. At this point it appears that NPR, as well as others are discussing conditions that may be adopted should the merger be approved. The rhetoric asking for an outright merger denial has shifted to a strategy of discussing various concessions that have come into play. It would appear at this point that the question is not whether the FCC will approve, but what the conditions of the approval will be.
The NPR stance is that should the merger be approved, that the HD radio signal be incorporated into SDARS receivers. As this publication has expressed in the past, this type of concession might allow HD Radio to circumvent subsidies, and more difficult negotiations with automobile manufacturers.
HD Radio has had a bit of trouble gaining consumer acceptance, and to this point has factory install OEM deals with only Ford and BMW.
NPR's main audience comes from terrestrial radio despite the fact that their programming is carried on Sirius.
Position - Long Sirius, Long XM