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SBCA: Satellite Radio to Continue Providing Local Traffic and Weather Services

Alexandria, Va., Nov. 9, 2004 – The Satellite Broadcasting and Communications Association (SBCA) today released a statement following the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) withdrawal of its Petition for Declaratory Ruling with the FCC alleging that satellite radio providers violated FCC regulations by providing local weather and traffic reports to their consumers. On Monday NAB filed a Motion to Dismiss Without Prejudice; their original Petition was filed April 14, 2004.

SBCA is pleased with NAB’s decision to withdraw their Petition and that satellite radio can continue providing local traffic and weather services,” said Richard DalBello, president SBCA. “Satellite radio is about offering consumers more choices and enhancing entertainment and information for consumers. Consumers have responded and there is a huge public demand for the unique type of service satellite radio provides.”

SBCA staff and members met with FCC staff regarding NAB’s petition, and urged the Commission to protect the interests of the over 2 million satellite radio subscribers. Satellite radio currently offers innovative and beneficial services such as commercial-free music and entertainment as well as traffic and weather updates for major U.S. cities. SBCA encouraged the Commission to maintain policies that value the interests of American consumers and promote new and advanced uses of technology and spectrum.  

SIRIUS and XM Satellite Radio offer local weather and traffic updates for a select number of major cities and provide this information over national feeds. In other words, a satellite radio subscriber in Los Angeles could listen to weather reports for New York City - as well as Los Angeles - if they chose to do so. Satellite radio programming is transmitted nationwide to all receivers simultaneously and although some programming may be of more interest to people in certain geographic areas, it does not convert the programming content from “national” to “local” in nature.  

The Satellite Broadcasting and Communications Association is the national trade organization representing all segments of the satellite industry. It is committed to expanding the utilization of satellite technology for the broadcast delivery of video, audio, data, music, voice, interactive, and broadband services. The SBCA is composed of DBS, broadband, satellite radio, and other satellite services providers, content providers, equipment manufacturers, distributors, retailers, encryption vendors, and national and regional distribution companies that make up the satellite services industry. Additional information can be found at www.sbca.com.