The Associated Press is reporting that FCC Chairman Kevin Martin has announced that he will recommend FCC approval of the proposed merger between the Sirius and XM satellite radio broadcasting companies.
From the piece by the AP’s John Dunbar:
Martin made his recommendation Sunday in exchange for a number of concessions, including turning 24 channels over to noncommercial and minority programming. That sets the stage for a final vote that could occur any time after Martin’s recommendation is circulated among his fellow commissioners.
The provision on noncommercial and minority programming along with several others — including a three-year price freeze for customers — persuaded Martin to support Sirius Satellite Radio Inc.’s buyout of rival XM Satellite Radio Holdings Inc. The deal would affect millions of subscribers who pay to hear music, news, sports and talk programming, largely free from advertising, in homes and vehicles.
Bluegrass subscribers to both services have feared that consolidation would result in the cancellation of one of the two bluegrass feeds, but Sirius CEO Mel Karmazin has pledged that the proposed merged service would allow any current subscriber of either network to both retain their existing service and choose from the other’s offerings on an a la carte basis.
Read the full AP piece online.