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Commission calls for more satellite radio applications

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Canadian Radio-Television & Telecommunications Commission
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CRTC/Regulatory - Radio
OTTAWA - With two applications already in hand, the CRTC yesterday put out a call for any more companies who might want to get into the satellite radio business.

There are only two such businesses in north America, XM Satellite Radio and SIRIUS, both of whom have already partnered with Canadian companies to make Commission applications for a pan-Canadian subscription satellite radio service. As reported by www.broadcastermagazine.com, XM joined forces with Toronto entrepreneur John Bitove this fall as Canadian Satellite Radio Inc., while Sirius and the CBC made an announcement just this month.

Anyone interested in submitting such an application is required to file a letter of intent no later than January 16th 2004, followed by a formal application to the Commission to be filed by no later than February 16th 2004, and to submit all necessary technical documentation to the Department of Industry by the same date.

"It should be noted that, in making this call, the Commission has not reached any conclusion with respect to the viability of such a service, nor should it be construed that the Commission will, by virtue of having called for applications, authorize such a service at this time," cautions the CRTC's call.

"Applicants will be required to provide evidence giving clear indication that there is a demand and a market for the proposed service. Without restricting the scope of the issues to be considered, the following should be addressed," says yesterday's release:

1. The contribution that the proposed service will make to achieving the objectives established in the Broadcasting Act, in particular, with respect to the production and presentation of programming that makes maximum use of Canadian creative and other resources.

2. The proposed expenditures and the means by which the applicant will promote the development of Canadian talent.

3. The manner in which the applicant intends to add to the diversity of the Canadian broadcasting system through its programming, and to reflect Canada's cultural diversity and linguistic duality.

4. An analysis of the markets involved and potential audiences as well as advertising revenues, if applicable, taking into account the results of any survey undertaken supporting the estimates, as well as the impact on advertising revenues of existing radio stations.

5. Clear evidence of the financial viability of the investors involved to undertake the project and to fulfil their business plan. For the convenience of applicants, the Commission has available upon request a document entitled "Documentation Required by the Commission to Support the Availability of an Applicant's Proposed Financing."

A time and place for the public hearing will be announced later in 2004. For more, go to www.crtc.gc.ca.
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