The HD Alliance's Satellite Radio Agenda

The HD Radio Alliance has gone and done it.

It has officially opposed the merger of XM and Sirius Satellite Radio.

That tells me enough that if I'm at the DOJ, I'm going to approve the merger immediately -- which they're likely to do anyway.

You may remember that iBiquity, the designated manufacturer of HD radio, unofficially asked the FCC to consider mandating the manufacture of new satellite radios so that they would include the HD subchannels. Exactly, what satellite subscribers want, right?


Now the HD Alliance which riled the terrestrial radio business with its "creative" commercials that arguably took a slap at terrestrial radio is squarely opposed to the Sirius-XM merger.

The radio industry has a hard time knowing who the real enemy is.

It is obsessed with satellite radio when the real enemy is themselves.

But you can understand why these stumblebums at the HD Alliance are opposed to satellite radio. They lost the in-car game to the satellite operators who pay dearly to get their radios installed in automobiles. The HD Alliance wants to do it on the cheap after the satellite business has set the pricing standard. Failing that, they line up against the merger.

There is no reason this merger shouldn't go through.

You can't argue that it will cause a monopoly because you'd have to go back and look at a lot of other mergers the DOJ allows in modern times.

And satellite radio really doesn't compete with terrestrial radio.

Satellite radio has its own problems.

Costs are a big one. The merger reduces the unbelievable duplication in running two satellite networks. Satellite radio never hurt a flea -- or a radio station. There is no evidence -- zero -- that it ever will because satellite radio has the same major problem that terrestrial radio has -- and neither one has dealt with it.

It's the next generation -- or better put -- the lack of a future without the next generation.

Gen Y isn't going to pay for satellite service -- they steal music -- why the hell would they pay for something they can get for free?

And satellite radio sounds a lot like terrestrial radio and the next generation grew up without a strong and enduring attachment to radio.

The HD Alliance -- well, they're doomed by their own failed strategy. Why create more stations when the terrestrial stations listeners now have too many? Even the consolidators seem to know this. They put little investment into putting competitive programming on HD subchannels.

So, we can conclude that there is no public interest reason for anyone to oppose satellite radio.

There's no business reason for radio to oppose satellite radio.

No reason for the HD Alliance to oppose it except...

Like everything else that has been done under the HD banner, you can't bully your way into Detroit's autos -- you have to pay your way.

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