Martin Says FCC Should Clarify Satellite Radio


Federal Communications Commission member Kevin Martin said the agency may have to revisit satellite radio to insure that the services are not providing local content in violation of their FCC licenses.

XM Satellite Radio began delivering local content to 15 markets yesterday. Because it is offering the services on its national satellite feed delivered to all subs, rather than the terrestrial repeaters with which it is prohibited to deliver local content, XM says it is in the clear.

Martin seemed inclined to agree, but thought the FCC might have to clarify its intent. The commissioner also suggested that if satellite radio has the ability to deliver local content, it ought to assume some similar obligations, like carrying the Amber alert as do terrestrial broadcasters.