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Galaxy Nation Explore the other side of the universe. Discuss AM/FM, XM, DISH, DirecTV, HD Radio, and all mp3 players. Here you can also discuss the ins and outs of tomorrow's radio technology...where music and satellites collide. Who said it's not rocket science?!?

 
 
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Old 12-09-2004, 08:21 AM   #1
KeithDouglas
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Default Satellite Radio in Canada

For Satellite Radio Fans, Northern Exposure (New York Times, December 9, 2004) -- a lengthy article about U.S. satellite radio companies and their Canadian partners.

Note: five all-Canadian channels across North America (including two in French)

Quote:
. . .

if satellite radio, with its hundreds of channels, is approved in Canada, as many here expect it to be early next year.

And in the process, the more than three million subscribers to XM Satellite Radio and Sirius Satellite Radio in the United States may find a slightly more Canadian flavor on the radio: more Canadian music, more Canadian news and more Canadian comedy.

That is because to win approval here, satellite radio must become a little more Canadian.

Though XM and Sirius signals reach Canada, and some Canadians furtively own receivers, the equipment is not yet legal. The hitch is a decades-old Canadian broadcasting policy meant to guarantee that the content on Canadian airwaves is sufficiently Canadian (about 35 percent for the typical music radio station) and not overwhelmed by a flood of American pop culture.

These rules remain important for Canada, said Michael Geist, a law professor at the University of Ottawa. "There needs to be cultural policy put into place that helps level the playing field and allow Canadian content to be made," he said.

Canadian Satellite Radio and Sirius Canada, the two companies pitching the service to the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission, Canada's version of the F.C.C., are Canadian-owned but close partners of the American satellite radio services.

Each has promised to offer five all-Canadian channels across North America (including two in French), and potentially eight if there are enough Canadian subscribers. The companies have promised various other incentives to promote Canadian talent and woo the commission, considered by many to be the guardian of Canadian culture.

"This is the first time we will be exporting channels into the U.S.," said Kevin Shea, the president of Sirius Canada, a consortium made up of Sirius Radio, Standard Radio and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Canada's national public broadcaster. The company has promised to offer four CBC stations and one station produced by Standard Radio, a large privately owned Canadian broadcast company.

Over the course of the license, which typically lasts about seven years, it would also spend about $18.5 million to support Canadian talent, including money for travel to Sirius headquarters in New York for live performances and to promote tours, Mr. Shea said.

Canadian Satellite Radio, in partnership with XM Satellite Radio, plans to offer a similar mix of news and music stations, as well as a Canadian comedy channel.

It plans to create a position in Washington for an "ambassador" who would promote new Canadian acts among XM Radio programmers and arrange live shows featuring Canadian artists at XM's studios, Stewart Lyons, the company's vice president, said in a phone interview. In addition, it will build sound studios in Montreal and Toronto to help independent artists and spend $23.5 million developing Canadian talent.

There is some concern about squeezing Canadian channels into the mix, given satellite radio's limited bandwidth, which for Sirius stands at about 120 channels and for XM at about 130, officials at both Canadian companies said. But there is also a lot of confidence in the appetite for Canadian programming in the United States, they argued.

. . .
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Old 12-09-2004, 10:12 AM   #2
rpokane
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I'm wondering if they will widen the bandwidth is the CRTC grants the license.
Weren't both Sirius and XM given their current spectrum based on consideration from Industry Canada for possible Canadian future use of the adjoining spectrum?
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