The Latest From the Sat Merger Debate

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Washington, DC - Aug. 9, 2007 - The NAB recently released its analysis of the proposed a la carte pricing and programming plan offered by XM and Sirius in their bid for a merger. From the analysis, the NAB has stated that under every programming package offered through an a la carte scheme, consumers will be charged higher prices-per-channel (40 to 188 percent more) than they currently pay.

The NAB also stated that both a la carte packages offered under a merger entity would include onerous restrictions and limitations preventing consumers from enjoying true a la carte choice. Consumers would also be required to buy a new radio for this programming. The analysis can be viewed at the NAB's website.

In opposition to the NAB's concerns Joele Frank released a statement saying the NAB's continuing effort to scuttle the merger clearly demonstrates they view satellite radio as a competitor, even as they claim the opposite.

The company also stated that the NAB set a new low in responding to Sirius/XM's announcement of the new offerings, which they believe offer two unprecedented a la carte programming options to consumers, available on newly equipped radios priced the same as current ones. In attacking the new a la carte plans because of the new radios needed to enjoy them, Frank said the NAB conveniently ignores the fact that HD Radio, introduced by the NAB's own members, also requires consumers to purchase new equipment to receive the HF Radio signal.

Frank points out that during the FCC's 45-day comment and reply period, more than 4,000 comments were filed in favor of the merger from individuals as well as many prestigious organizations and businesses, such as Circuit City, Honda, Hyundai, the American Trucking Association, the National Consumers League, American Values, the League of Rural Voters and Women Impacting Public Policy.

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