Minority Groups Embrace Merger
May 24, 2007
Perhaps they feel that terrestrial radio ignores them. Perhaps they feel that terrestrial radio does not care about them. Perhaps they are simply tired of terrestrial radio's empty promises. Perhaps they are frustrated by the NAB seeking to block the creation of Low Powered FM radio stations. Those may all be some of the reasons why so many minority groups have come out in support of the merger, but realistically, it is more likely because satellite radio has embraced minority programming more so than any other audio entertainment medium.
Satellite radio embraced programming diversity early on, and over the years has expanded it. Whether you are black, Hispanic, gay, or Korean, there is programming available for you on satellite radio, and the merger would likely present even more minority programming. The latest to file support is the New York Federation of Hispanic Chambers of Commerce, which advocates on behalf of over 2,000,000 Hispanic owned businesses. you can read their letter to the FCC HERE
While most of the merger discussion seems to center on the competitive landscape, and dollars, perhaps more important is the services that a merged satellite radio company can deliver to those that have been neglected by terrestrial radio for years. minority groups, and groups representing rural area listeners have all voiced STRONG SUPPORT FOR THE MERGER.
There is a reason why they have done this. Satellite radio has embraced minority programming. satellite radio offers a deeper breadth of programming in rural areas, and satisfies diverse programming needs for minorities. A merger would make even more content available. Imagine a fan of Latin music living in the middle of Nebraska. Do you really think that terrestrial radio will even attempt to meet programming needs for these people? In fact, take the issue of radio and apply it to any area in the center of our country. Imagine living in a small town and having access to only 3 or 4 terrestrial radio stations. satellite radio can fill programming holes in these areas NOW. How long do you think it will take terrestrial radio to fill the needs of these people? They have had over 40 years so far, and have not come to the plate yet!
Think about it. Step away from the share price, the synergies, the dollars, and the definition of competition for a moment. Look at what can happen in short order with a merger. In a Senate Hearing, the tribal leader of a Native American tribe spoke in regards to a desire for programming even with low powered FM. Imagine what can happen with a merged company. There is a strong potential that a Native American radio show could become reality.
Think about educational and personal development programming. Will terrestrial radio fill that void? Likely not. Their interests are in ad dollars, and none of them are willing to risk an investment in such programming. Simply stated, the audiences are likely smaller than would make financial sense. Now consider what can happen on satellite radio. Which medium is more likely to deliver this type of programming to consumers.
Simply stated, there is more at stake here than dollars. yes, dollars drive the bus, but it is satellite radio that will be able to take additional passengers on that bus.
5/24/2007 09:46:00 PM
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