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SBCA Files Comments in Response to NAB’s Petition Against Satellite Radio

Alexandria, Va., June 4, 2004 – The Satellite Broadcasting and Communications Association (SBCA) today filed its formal response with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to a petition from the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) against satellite radio. NAB filed a “Petition for Declaratory Ruling” with the FCC in April alleging that satellite radio providers SIRIUS and XM Satellite Radio violated FCC regulations by providing local weather and traffic reports to their consumers.

SIRIUS and XM Satellite Radio offer local weather and traffic updates for a select number of major cities and provide this information over national feeds. In other words, a satellite radio subscriber in Los Angeles could listen to weather reports for New York City - as well as Los Angeles - if they chose to do so. Satellite radio programming is transmitted nationwide to all receivers simultaneously and although some programming may be of more interest to people in certain geographic areas, it does not convert the programming content from “national” to “local” in nature. 

“Satellite radio is creating a revolution in mobile entertainment and information,” said Richard DalBello, president of SBCA. “The locally-oriented programming now offered is unique and responds to an unmet public demand, it doesn’t undermine localism. NAB’s petition is an attempt to eliminate the competition under the guise of serving the public interests.”

SBCA urged the FCC to dismiss NAB’s Petition and its request that the Commission regulate satellite radio receiver technology, which could preclude satellite radio operators from offering innovative and beneficial services. SBCA encouraged the Commission to maintain policies that value the interests of American consumers and promote new and advanced uses of technology and spectrum.  

“Maybe if the NAB spent more of their vast resources upgrading their own platforms and programming rather than halting new, consumer driven technologies - like satellite radio – they wouldn’t feel the need to file frivolous petitions like this one.” Continued DalBello.

Over two million consumers subscribe to satellite radio service in the United States. Satellite radio is the fastest growing consumer electronics product ever introduced.

The Satellite Broadcasting and Communications Association is the national trade organization representing all segments of the satellite industry. It is committed to expanding the utilization of satellite technology for the broadcast delivery of video, audio, data, music, voice, interactive, and broadband services. SBCA is composed of DBS, C-band, broadband, satellite radio, and other satellite service providers, content providers, equipment manufacturers, distributors, retailers, encryption vendors, and national and regional distribution companies that make up the satellite services industry. Additional information can be found at