Thursday, September 08, 2005

"Satellite Radio is Overdue"

I was reading the Globe & Mail this morning when I noticed two front full page ads addressed to the Government of Canada.

I for one support the drive to keep satellite radio available in Canada and encourage everyone to show their support by not letting the decision to approve it go back to review by the CRTC.

Anyway, one was from Future Shop [
Let your MP know you support satellite radio in Canada]:

To the Government of Canada

Re: Satellite Radio in Canada is overdue

On behalf of our more than 10,000 Future Shop associates in Canada, we are writing to express our stores support of the CRTC's decision to grant satellite broadcasting licenses and to urge the Federal government to allow them to stand.

For over 20 years, Future Shop has been the destination where Canadian consumers know they can 'get it first' when it comes to new technology. As a result, the more they've heard about satellite radio, the more they've been asking for this service to come to Canada and many are shocked to hear that there is a chance the Federal government may not support the CRTC's decision. Future Shop, as the largest national retail consumer electronics chain in the country, has a responsibility to voice our support of this new service.

Digital audio is a growing industry in Canada, one that the rest of the world has already embraced. The demand for products and services has already pushed many of our customers across the border in search of satellite radio for their automobiles and homes. This means lost revenue for Canadian retailers that are contributing to losses for the economy, in revenue streams and in jobs for Canadians.

Beyond the financial implications, licensing delays are impacting the exposure of Canadian artists to listeners across North America. We respect the existing broadcast industry, but also believe that satellite radio has the power to bring Canadian culture through original content in both official languages to more people, promoting regional talents to other areas of Canada as well as into the United States.

Like people all over the world, Canadian consumers are demanding choice in their entertainment and in the information they have access to, especially those who live in the many rural and remote communities across the country. On their behalf, Future Shop is urging you not to overlook the impact that satellite radio will have on our country. We have an opportunity to continue moving in the right direction, one of leveraging global advances in technology. Don't let Canadian consumers get left behind.

Sincerely,
Future Shop

And one from Canadian artists, via XM / Canadian Satellite Radio:

The arrival of satellite radio is long overdue, this is the vehicle that the struggling independent artists in this country have dreamed of, this will allow the artists across the country who have little or no exposure or access to the Major labels' A & R departments to strut there stuff with actual AIRPLAY, not only will it give them much needed exposure, FREE, it will bring them into markets they never dreamed of reaching, truly an international plug.

With satellite radio the boundaries are limitless and will redefine the medium as we know it.

-- John McDermott,Independent artist.

The Federal Government is now considering overturning the unanimous decision of the CRTC, and sending it back for yet another hearing.

The CRTC spent two years developing their decision,and now the Government wants to review this process based on misinformation spread by the conventional broadcasters who don't want our competition.

HELP US PREVENT THIS FROM HAPPENING!

TELL THE GOVERNMENT THAT YOU WANT TO CHOOSE FOR YOURSELF WHAT YOU WANT TO HEAR!

Caps-lock their fault.

The XM / Canadian Satellite Radio link also links letters from other artists, like Susan Aglukark, Daniel Lanois, and Jeff Healey.

I'm not sure what value there is in sending it back to the CRTC? Can somebody answer that? Is it just because of CHUM and it's product offering? From what I can gather, CHUM is the primary complainant, but being 100% Canadian gains some more leverage in Ottawa in terms of CanCon delivery.

However, their product offering is far less robust and may in fact, be far inferior to the CBC/Sirius and Cdn Satellite Radio/XM offering. The CHUM offering is relying on land-based transmitters which will limit service in remote and rural areas. I think I have seen them admit that they may not be able to compete. That's a weak reason to stall the launch of satellite radio in Canada. It looks like CHUM would not offer the service, if the satellite licenses were approved.

Plus, if Gregg Terrance of Indiepool is to be believed in the
original CRTC filing, independent Canadian artists get more airplay on XM and Sirius in the US, then they do by conventional radio stations in Canada. Isn't that what promoting CanCon is about?

Anyway, Future Shop provides a handy way of letting your MP know you support satellite radio.

Links:

Apologies for the huge post.

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4 comments:

Canadian Perasma said...

I completely agree..and I already did the "contact the gov't" thing on XM Canada's website.

The thing is that here in Calgary, XM is already being sold and blatently advertised on roadsigns (on 32nd AVE NE for you Calgarians east of Deerfoot Tr). But I haven't bit yet. Why? Because I wanted to see the Canadian version first. Plus, what many folks don't understand is that XM and probably Sirius (not as well versed on Sirius) were going to pump money (money the gov't has NOT been spending) towards Canadian artists as mandated by the CRTC and the met and exceeded that.

Some were concerned that it doesn't represent francophones enough, but it's a proportional service that we're sharing with the Americans and French language service got the amount equivalent to the number of francophones in Canada while still servicing allophones and anglophones as well and obeying the CRTC. I don't think so many companies would be interested in jugling that amount of regulation if they weren't dedicated to the Canadian market.

As a Dipper, I tend to me more supicious of corporate interests but a company willing to go through so much red tape while committing ongoing funds to Canadian artists when the Liberals can't seem to deserves a chance in my book. It would be a pity if narrowminded special interests kill it off. Not to mention really that people will get their satellite radio and if the CRTC reverses itself, then Canadian artists don't benefit from that. As I stated, people will get their satellite radio and at least having a Canadian based service will service our interests and address grey market recievers at the same time -- benefiting most rather than a few.

Canadian Perasma said...

Sorry..I repeated myself at the end there. Never rant and watch TV at the same time. ;o)

BBS said...

Windsor, Ontario here, and if they don't hurry up with the Canadian version, they won't have to worry at all. We're a border town and people have been subscribing to XM and Sirius for years now.

Canadian Perasma said...

It appears you get what you wish for. Crisis averted.

http://www.mytelus.com/news/article.do?pageID=canada_home&articleID=2025940