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FCC Rejects Primosphere S-DARS Licensing Effort - Radio World

FCC Rejects Primosphere S-DARS Licensing Effort

No luck for early hopeful in satellite licensing chase
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The Federal Communications Commission says it's really, really done with Primosphere's effort to get a satellite digital radio license.

The agency said Primosphere's case was really resolved in 2003 when a federal appeals court agreed with the FCC's decision to award only two S-DARS licenses in 1997. Those went to Sirius, then called Satellite CD Radio Inc., and XM, known as American Mobile Radio Corp.

Primosphere Limited Partnership and Digital Satellite broadcasting Corp. lost out to the bids for S-DARS spectrum licenses of approximately $83.3 million from Satellite CD Radio and $90 million for AMRC.

The organization is a holding company for New York resident Clifford Burnstein and his partner Peter Mensch in the entertainment industry company Q-Prime, a music management group, as we previously reported.

Primosphere asked the International Bureau to deny both filings. The bureau said "no" to the requests in 1997 and dismissed its license application because it said there were no more SDARS licenses available. Primospshere appealed, first to the full commission, then to the D.C. Circuit Court. Both appeals went in the International Bureau's favor.

Three years later, in 2007, Primosphere said it intended to go ahead with another appeal and that because the commission never formally dismissed its Application for Review, the document seeking an S-DARS license remained pending.

By this time, Sirius and XM had asked the commission to approve their merger. Primosphere, among other companies, hoped for an S-DARS license should one become available when Sirius and XM combined operations. Both Sirius and XM fought that application and the FCC denied it at the time it approved the satellite radio merger.

The commission said this week the 2003 court decision agreeing with the FCC's action to award only two S-DARS licenses was correct, which made Primosphere's 2007 applications looking to revive its case moot.

To "provide clarity," the FCC formally dismissed Primosphere's application to review the original decision awarding only two S-DARS licenses.

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