July 24, 2008 by Rachel Cericola
It seems that the FCC may finally wrap up the deal that will merge XM and Sirius Satellite Radio.
The whole thing rests on a lone vote from Commissioner Deborah Taylor Tate. However, The Wall Street Journal says that, in exchange for her vote, both companies will pay $20 million in fines stemming from tower locations and power limits. Both companies have already agreed to other stipulations, including price caps, a la carte channel options, and designating 8 percent of its full-time channels for public interest and minority programming.
Once the deal goes through, the company should have a la carte radios ready to roll within six months. This will allow subscribers to mix and match stations from both services. Other changes will include the option of a $7 monthly plan, which will offer 50 stations from one service, versus the current $13 for the whole lineup. Also many channels may merge or be eliminated to cancel out any repeat programming.
Both satellite radio services first announced plans to merge in February 2007.
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Over the past 15 years, Rachel Cericola has covered entertainment, web and technology trends. Check her out at www.rachelcericola.com.
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