Cable Gives XM Helping Hand
The cable and broadcast industries are on the opposite sides of the table on a number of issues, literally on opposite sides of the table when it comes to negotiating retransmission consent deals, for instance, and ideologically on the related issue of multi-cast must-carry, and even plain old must carry.
Could cable have been tweaking its rival a tad in aiding and comforting a new XM Radio channel devoted to the presidential campaigns.Traditional opponents of big media mergers are always pushing big media for more campaign coverage. MoveOn.org leaps to mind, for one. And politicians themselves are always looking for more coverage without having to plunk down the duckets to buy campaign spots.
So, a new, free, D.C.-friendly XM channel given over to debates and speeches and campaign coverage serves the satellite radio company well in its arguments before Congress and the FCC that it should be allowed to merge with Sirius.
But broadcasters are dead set against the merger, arguing it would create a monopoly national radio market.
Helping XM with the new channel is teh cable industry-backed C-SPAN. A natural for that sort of thing, of course,and with cross-promotional advantage for C-SPAN as well.
A June preview of the XM channel will feature debate coverage from cable's CNN, which recently said it would allow unrestricted use of its debate footage for replay, review and mash-up online and elsewhere. C-SPAN has also loosened its restrictions on re-use.
By John Eggerton.