I have been considering all that has happened in this circus merger process, and I have been reviewing some of my fellow posters articles, as well as my own. It has occurred to me that one of the things that has been criticized the most, could in fact be the turning point to this merger, and that is HD radio. What do we know about HD radio?
- A slew of Attorney Generals have proposed it as a condition.
- A ton of Congressmen have proposed it as a condition to merger.
- iBiquity has proposed it as a condition to the merger.
- Even Commissioner Addelstein has proposed it as a condition to merger.
So by agreeing to install HD into all future models of SatRads, Sirius/XM could potentially swing a large amount of support towards the side of approval. This would have to be done with some stipulations, of course.
- All FUTURE models would be designed with HD radio. All current models are exempt from this requirement.
- iBiquity or the HD alliance would have to provide the funding to pay for all of the HD chipsets that would be installed into the radios.
- iBiquity or the HD alliance would have to assist with design costs for the inclusion of HD radio.
- iBiquity or the HD alliance would have to share the cost of subsidies for the installation of Satellite/HD radio combos to manufactures. Sirius/XM would still be on their own regarding revshare, etc.
- The agreement does not mandate Sirus/XM or any of their partners to provide any advertising or technical assistance in regards to HD radio, other than that guaranteed by the unit's warranty.
This proposal would show that Sirius/XM are willing to help support HD radio, as long as they are willing to support themselves. To me, HD is not a deal breaker, as long as Sirius/XM do not have to foot the bill. Is the HD Alliance willing to put some money into the deal or are they simply looking for a free ride?
Feel free to comment here, or head on over to the Sirius Buzz Forums to discuss this further.
Position: Long Sirius, XM.