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NAB's XM/Sirius Satellite Radio Merger Poo-Pooing Debunked

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According to a new study by Arbitron and Edison Media Research, the National Association of Broadcasters' fears of a merged satellite radio company unfairly competing with terrestrial broadcasters are mostly unfounded, since digital radio listeners actually listen to more traditional radio than everyone else. The NY Times writes that "The data suggest that, generally speaking, fans of digital radio are seeking to supplement, not replace, traditional radio."

Moreover, Arbitron exec Bill Rose told the Times, "Heavy users of digital media don't think, 'If I'm doing this more, I'm doing the other thing less.' "

This directly contradicts what NAB President David Rehr wrote in a letter to the chairman of the House Judiciary Antitrust Task Force in March: "Simply put, every person who listens to satellite radio is one person not listening to a local radio station..."


Isn't there a way to let the customers decide what they want? If the XM/Sirius lovechild is as horrible as Rehr makes it out to be in his anti-monopoly spiel, they'll simply quit paying for it, and look for programming elsewhere, won't they? This study implicitly backs that up, beyond its more obvious conclusions. When it comes to media consumption, perhaps people are just little bit smarter than you've giving them credit for, Mr. Rehr.


Digital Subscribers Like Free Radio, Too [NYT]