Satellite radio service expands to Canada

| 6/22/2005

The voice of Mark Reddig and “Land Line Now” will soon have an international audience.

In fact, listeners in Canada will soon have access to all of XM Satellite Radio’s content, along with Sirius Satellite Radio and a third Canadian-only subscription radio service.

On Thursday, June 16, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission – the government organization in charge of approving Canadian media content – gave final approval to all three subscription radio services for licensing in the country: Sirius Canada Inc.; Canadian Satellite Radio Inc., which has signed a deal with U.S.-headquartered XM; and CHUM Limited, which will promote a Canadian-only music lineup.

Under Canadian law, all media must meet certain requirements to support the country’s French-speaking population and original musicians. As part of the approval, each of the satellite services must meet the following requirements:

  • At least eight original channels must be produced in Canada. A maximum of nine channels may be offered for Canadian channel;
  • At least 85 percent of the musical selection and spoken-word programming must be Canadian;
  • At least 25 percent of the Canadian channels must be in French;
  • At least 25 percent of the music on the Canadian channels must be new Canadian music; and
  • An additional 25 percent of the music on the Canadian channels must be from emerging Canadian artists.

However, at least three groups – the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada, Friends of Canadian Radio and the Alliance of Canadian Cinema – are protesting the approval, saying the rules are not strict enough to comply with the Canadian Broadcasting Act, which applies to all forms of media in the country.