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Canada Looks at Satellite Radio

Canada Looks at Satellite Radio

Canada’s broadcasting regulators have begun a public hearing to consider licensing one or more subscription radio services.
There are three applications. One is from CHUM; one a partnership of Canadian companies and Sirius; and one a partnership of Canadian companies and XM.
CBC, Standard Radio Inc., and Sirius Satellite Radio form one partnership; Canadian Satellite Radio, consisting of XM and Toronto businessman John Bitove, form another.
CHUM has proposed a terrestrial system, as previously reported by RW Online.
In the three applications, the companies propose a new Canadian-controlled company that will offer Canadian subscribers Sirius or XM service, including four Canadian-produced channels.
If licensed by the Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, Canada’s regulatory body, the new subscription-based service would be available to all Canadians, and the four CBC services would also be available to U.S. subscribers.
Canadian Satellite Radio, Rawlco Radio and Golden West Radio have created a partnership that includes an option for the two western Canadian broadcasters to acquire an ownership interest in CSR, should it be granted a license. Participants did not disclose terms of the agreement.
As GM is a big backer of XM, its Canadian division has agreed to a 13-year distribution deal with CSR. Should the Canadian government grant a license to CSR, GM would factory-install CSR receivers in more than 50 Canadian vehicle models beginning in the 2006 model year.