NAB Hits The Roof Over Satcaster Local Traffic/Weather Programming

NAB Hits The Roof Over Satcaster Local Traffic/Weather Programming
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NAB is not happy to hear of XM and Sirius plans to introduce local traffic and weather reports. NAB President/CEO Eddie Fritts called it "an appalling back-door attempt to bypass the FCC's intent to limit satellite radio to a national service only."
Fritts said XM's plans in particular "violate the spirit" of a recently-reached agreement between the two companies for suggested language regarding the FCC's terrestrial repeater rules for XM. The language bars XM from using the repeaters to insert local programming.
XM told Radio World it is not violating the agreement, because it will send its traffic and weather data as part of its satellite signal nationwide.
XM President/CEO Hugh Panero characterized the dedicated traffic/weather channels as effective programming.
"This will be a national service," Panero said.
"NAB will explore the legality of XM offering this program service. But there is no doubt the 175 million daily listeners of local radio stations know that the best and most reliable source for news, school closings, and weather and traffic alerts continues to be their local broadcasters," said Fritts.