The National Association of Broadcastsers has taken to the streets and to the information superhighway to protest the proposed merger of XM and Sirius Satellite Radio. Actually, the "street" part is the outside of its Washington headquarters, where it has hung a banner reading "Do the Math: XM + Sirius = Monopoly."
NAB has also launched a smart-looking Web site that proclaims that same message and is filled with clips of Hill testimony, links to media coverage of the issue and pdf's of print ads it has published taking aim at XM and Sirius.
Broadcasters say the merger would be a government bailout for bad decisionmaking, like the huge sums paid to Howard Stern, and would create a monopoly in nationally-delivered radio. It also points out that the FCC, in creating the two national satellite licenses, prohibited one company from owning both, a hurdle FCC Chairman Kevin Martin has pointed to as well.
XM and Sirius argue the merger will allow them to provide better service more economically, and would simply strengthen one competitor in an audio market crowded with terrestrial audio and cable audio and online audio and music downloads on portable devices.
For their part, XM and sirius have campaigned in the press, too, and have also launched two sites,
www.xmmerger.com and www.siriusmerger.com, to promote its arguments for more choice.
The NAB and XM/Sirius ramnped up efforts come as