FCC Extends Sat Radio Deadline for Third-party Access

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Washington - Nov 28, 2008 - In a public notice, the FCC has granted on its own motion an extension until Feb. 27, 2009, of the deadline for Sirius and XM to implement their voluntary commitment to enter into long-term leases or other agreements to provide a qualified entity or entities rights to four percent of the full-time audio channels on the satellite radio providers' services.

On Aug. 5, 2008, the Commission released a memorandum opinion and order and report and order conditionally approving the merger of the two services based on the fulfillment of several voluntary commitments. One of these commitments was to provide third-party access within four months of the consummation of the merger. The merger was consummated on July 28, 2008. The four-month implementation deadline was Nov. 28, 2008.

As the merger idea was discussed, several commenters raised concerns about the mechanics of the channel lease administration and allocation, and the commission committed to determine the implementation details for use of the leased channels at a later date. The FCC cites the complexities of the commitment necessitating the extended deadline while it is determined how to accommodate the condition.

MB Docket No. 07-57

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