Monday, March 05, 2007

CBS's Moonves Comments On Satellite

March 5, 2007

One has to wonder whether these comments help or hinder the sirius and XM merger process.

CHICAGO (MarketWatch) -- CBS Corp.
2:24pm 03/05/2007

CBS's radio stations have not been affected by satellite radio, Chief Executive Les Moonves told a gathering at the annual Bear Stearns Media Conference in New York on Monday. Moonves said he would leave it to the National Association of Broadcasters to comment on whether or not XM Satellite Radio should be allowed to complete their proposed $13.6 billion merger, but said CBS Radio has benefited from the traditional medium's locality. "We're local, and [satellite is] not." Not only can terrestrial radio stations offer local news, weather and sports, Moonves said, but playlists can be altered to suit different markets. "We've had a lot of success with these Jack stations," he commented, referring to a format that seeks to replicate the random playlists possible on MP3 players and other devices. "And the playlist in L.A. is different from the one in New York."

Seems that according to Moonves, that terrestrial radio is doing fine in the broadcasting space, and that their localized content gives them a perceived buffer between themselves and satellite radio. Localized sports radio stations is one particular form of content where terrestrial radio carries a distinct advantage. In Boston for example, Sports Radio WEEI carries a whole line-up of sports shows dedicated to the Red Sox, Patriots, Bruins and Celtics. This type of localized content goes deep into specific players and team happenings better than that which is available on a nationally based radio show. Additionally, satellite radio is virtually commercial free on the music side of things. again, a distinct advantage for terrestrial radio. Advertisers seeking an audience that listens to a specific genre of music need to advertise with terrestrial, as there are no ads on satellite.

Moonves points out distinctly some of the competitive advantages available to terrestrial radio. So far the NAB has avoided these points, and instead focused on what they perceive as advantages that satellite has over terrestrial. As the marketplace gets defined in the merger process, these advantages need to also be explored.

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3/05/2007 02:42:00 PM

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