Cabinet has upheld a CRTC decision to issue two satellite radio licences after the applicants agreed to increase Canadian content and French-language service.
The applicants are Sirius Canada and Canadian Satellite Radio, each of which has a U. S. partner. Details of the new Canadian content commitments were not immediately available but the number of French-language channels will be increased to four from three. As part of the agreement, CSR and Sirius have been forces to increase the French-language influence and broadcasting. Both promise to include 8 Canadian channels, which are half English and half French.
Several cultural organizations such as the Canadian Recording Industry opposed the original terms of the licenses. Reasons include that they have weakened domestic content rules. These rules require Canadian music and talk programming to be prominent on the airwaves. “This is a black day, " said Ian Morrison, a spokesman for Friends of Canadian Broadcasting. “In effect, the Americans have won. " The new licenses call for eight new Canadian channels and 72 American channels.
While some people are complaining, independent and emerging artists favored the satellite licenses. They believe that the new services will provide them with exposure in the United States and abroad. Satellite radio , while initially intended mainly for car radios, has made several new improvements for portable and home satellite radio. Automakers, whom have factory ready satellite receivers in new 2006 models supported the applications. Just as in America, subscrition to the new radio services can be purchased and heard anywhere in North America.
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