Georgetown Partners: Sirius Backseat TV Is Not ‘Ancillary’ Service

July 18, 2008
Georgetown Partners, a private investment firm, says Sirius’ use of its satellite radio spectrum for the Sirius Backseat TV service is a violation of its licensing rules and it has asked the Enforcement Bureau of the FCC to look into the matter.

Georgetown asked the FCC to order Sirius to “cease its unauthorized television broadcasting through appropriate orders after investigation,” according to a recent filing with the agency.

Georgetown has been pushing the FCC to mandate the merged satcasters lease a portion of their spectrum to a third entity to provide satellite digital radio programming, should the merger be approved. The company says it could establish a competitive alternative digital satellite radio company with 20 percent of Sirius’ 25 MHz swath of SDARS spectrum.

In recent FCC filings, Sirius and XM say their attorneys have meet with commission staff and discussed “pending issues raised in recent filing ... including matters pending before the Enforcement Bureau.” XM and Sirius reiterated positions “consistent with their filings in this proceeding,” and urged prompt approval of the merger.

(Radio World)

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