XM, meet Canada. Canada, meet XM.
On Wednesday, Nov. 23, XM Satellite launched XM Canada, the first
satellite radio service available in the country.
“XM Canada is on the air and signing up subscribers,” Stephen Tapp,
president and COO of XM Canada, said in a press release. “XM Canada has
delivered on its promise to be the first to bring Canada the greatest
technological evolution in radio in the past 60 years.”
More than 4,500 Canadians pre-registered for XM during the past month,
according to a press release.
XM Canada’s channel line-up will include many of the same music,
entertainment and talk channels offered in the United States – including Open
Road Channel 171 which carries OOIDA’s “Land Line Now” program. XM officials
also anticipate the Canadian audience be pleased with the coverage of the
National Hockey League, which will include about 1,000 games per season.
On June 16, the Canadian Radio-television and
Telecommunications Commission – the government organization in charge of
approving Canadian media content – gave final approval to three subscription
radio services for licensing in the country: Sirius Canada Inc.; Canadian
Satellite Radio Inc., which signed a deal with the 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;
- 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 – protested 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.