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Canada Okays Satellite Pay Radio

Canada Okays Satellite Pay Radio

It looks like Canadians will be able to legally buy subscription satellite radio.
The Canadian government has approved license applications for three subscription radio proposals, one each from Sirius Satellite Radio and XM Satellite Radio, and a third from Canadian broadcaster CHUM.
Industry analysts in Canada said the rulings are significant for digital radio and could mark the death knell for traditional radio, reported the Toronto Globe and Mail, which also quoted experts as saying this week’s decision could be appealed.
The Chairman of the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission, Charles Dalfen said in CRTC’s announcement the decision met the objectives of Canada’s Broadcasting Act, and balances the needs of Canadian consumers, the radio industry and the music industry.
Specifically, the CRTC approved the license applications of Sirius Canada, and Canadian Satellite Radio, partner of XM Satellite Radio for digital satellite radio and a third application of CHUM and Astral Media, which proposed a subscription service using terrestrial repeaters.
Astral Media is based in Montreal.
CSR is a partnership between Sirius and Toronto-based Standard Broadcasting and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.
“XM currently features a wide range of Canadian artists and our partnership with CSR offers a unique opportunity to expand the reach of Canadian music and culture in Canada and in the United States,” said XM President/CEO Hugh Panero.
XM and CSR will be working together to address the differences between the Canadian content standards described in the broadcasting license and what was proposed in the license application. CSR is a Toronto-based joint venture between Canadian citizen and resident John Bitove Jr. and XM.
The Canadian government said the two satellite-based services, Canadian Satellite Radio and Sirius Canada, must adhere to several content requirements:
* At least 8 channels of original Canadian content;
* No more than 9 non-Canadian channels for each Canadian channel;
* At least 85 % Canadian content on the Canadian music channels;
* One French-language channel for every 3 English-language channels;
* At least 25 % new Canadian content on the music channels, with work produced by artists within the last 6 months; and
* A further 25 % of the music choices on the Canadian channels must be the work of artists who have not yet had a hit.
Both satellite companies have proposed $12.99 per month subscription rates.
They also have 150 days to notify the Canadian government whether they will accept the conditions, according to the CRTC.