The merger between Sirius Satellite Radio and XM Satellite Radio was approved three years ago. One condition of the merger was a 4% set-aside of spectrum for diverse programming not owned or controlled by Sirius XM. During the process several companies and organizations came forward with the desire to utilize that spectrum. A huge part of the delay was the inability of the FCC to figure out a way to decide upon who would get the spectrum. Ultimately the decision was left to Sirius XM, and we now finally have five groups that will offer programming on seven channels.
Washington, D.C.-Based Howard University
The owner of urban AC WHUR-FM (96.3) and WHUT-TV. Howard University will create two channels. One is described as “Music and talk programming for the African-American community” and the other is music and talk programming from Historically Black Colleges and Universities.
Eventus-National Latino Broadcasting
Eventus will produce two channels – one dedicated to Spanish-language talk, and the other dedicated Spanish music.
This company already operates in some radio markets by leasing HD Radio multicast space. By having a channnel on satellite they will have a national footprint. World Media will produce a Spanish-language talk channel.
This company will offer a Korean-language music and talk channel.
Salt Lake City-based Brigham Young University (BYU)
BYU is owner of “Classic 89” KBYU-FM in Provo Utah, as well as KBYU-TV, will offer a channel of “music and talk programming for the Mormon community.
FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski stated, “This marks a valuable step in increasing the diversity of programming available to satellite radio listeners, while promoting access for new entrants and independent satellite radio programming.”
Likely this move represents some housekeeping by Sirius XM satellite Radio as they make efforts to have another merger condition, the price freeze, lifted.
Position – Long Sirius XM Radio