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Sirius XM Gets a Bit More Time to Lease Channels

4% set-aside deadline is pending

The FCC has extended the amount of time Sirius XM has to lease 4% of its spectrum to qualified third-parties. The new deadline is June 29.

The spectrum “set asides” — working out to six channels on both the Sirius and XM platforms — was an FCC condition of the merger of the two satcasters in 2008.

The FCC previously has asked for public input (to MB Docket 07-57) on what would constitute a qualified third-party to lease the spectrum, the technical and financial qualifications of lessees and whether or not Sirius XM should be involved in the selection process as well as who should make the selection.

In response to concerns it has heard about the mechanics of the channel lease administration and allocation, the commission deferred a decision on the specifics of how the leases would be implemented.

In granting the extension, the FCC said it anticipates acting on the lease guidelines soon.