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Reaction Mixed to Canada Offering Licenses to All Pay Radio Services

Reaction Mixed to Canada Offering Licenses to All Pay Radio Services

Reaction to news that Canada’s government has approved all three applications for pay radio in that country has been mixed. The groups proposing a satellite radio service are pleased, and Canadian car and receiver retailers are gearing up to manufacture and promote Sirius and XM.
However Wall Street analysts predicted the restrictions could slow satellite radio’s entry into Canada and some gave 50-50 odds of whether XM and Sirius would move forward.
But the group proposing a terrestrial-repeater-based service is not pleased and may appeal. Whether an appeal would delay anything is questionable, say experts close to the issue.
“It should have been more equitable,” Paul Ski, EVP of radio for CHUM told the Toronto Globe and Mail. “We’ve got to go back and review it.”
CHUM, in partnership with Astral media, has said it could take a year to get its service operational.
Sirius said it was pleased with the decision and said it needs more time to study the Canadian content conditions associated with the license before commenting further. Kevin Shea, CEO of Sirius Canada, told Macleans the company would see how the Canadian content conditions would impact the business plan, but overall, “We think something is there.”
XM was pleased with the decision and partner GM Canada hopes to have factory-installed satellite radios in more than 50 brands in calendar year 2006.
The Canadian government imposed tight domestic content restrictions on the three providers, RW Online previously reported.