WASHINGTON, DC -- Late yesterday, NAB asked the FCC to move forward in releasing information related to XM and Sirius's violations of FCC rules governing FM modulators and terrestrial repeaters. "The information at issue here is inextricably linked to the pending application of XM and Sirius to merge" and become the nation's sole satellite radio provider, said yesterday's filing. To read the eight-page filing, click here.
Earlier this year, NAB filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with the FCC seeking information related to the satellite radio companies' history of various rules violations. Following a ruling that granted the partial release of the requested information, the satellite radio companies and several current and former employees filed applications for review, delaying the release of key facts which hold a direct bearing on XM and Sirius's merger application.
Commenting on yesterday's action, NAB Executive Vice President of Media Relations Dennis Wharton said, "XM and Sirius may operate above the Earth, but they are not above the law. Their continued reluctance to fully disclose key facts related to past violations is yet another example of why these two companies should not be trusted with monopoly power."
Earlier this year, Sirius admitted requesting manufacturers to produce Sirius radios that operated beyond the interference regulations set by the FCC. In Sirius's annual report (Form 10-K) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the company disclosed on page 26 that "certain SIRIUS personnel requested manufacturers to produce SIRIUS radios that were not consistent with the FCC's rules."
On multiple occasions, NAB has urged lawmakers and policymakers to investigate the tactics employed by both XM and Sirius. A 2006 study of 17 wireless devices commonly used to transmit audio signals from satellite radio devices and MP3 players to in-dash cars showed that 13 of the 17 devices exceeded field strength limits set by the FCC. Six of the noncompliant devices exceeded strength limits by 2,000% and one surpassed strength limits by 20,000%.
The National Association of Broadcasters is a trade association that advocates on behalf of more than 8,300 free, local radio and television stations and also broadcast networks before Congress, the Federal Communications Commission and the Courts. Information about NAB can be found at www.nab.org.