WASHINGTON, DC – - NAB today released an analysis of the much-ballyhooed "a la carte" pricing plan offered by XM and Sirius in their bid for a government-sanctioned monopoly merger.
The analysis finds that under every programming packaging offered through an a la carte scheme, consumers will be charged higher prices-per-channel than they currently pay. The price-per-channel increases under a merged XM-Sirius would range from 40 percent to 188 percent.
Moreover, both a la carte packages offered under a merged entity would include onerous restrictions and limitations preventing consumers from enjoying true a la carte choice. Plus, consumers would be required to buy a new radio to enjoy additional pre-selected channels from both XM and Sirius.
"If 'a la carte' is intended to mean more choice and lower prices, XM and Sirius fail the test," said NAB Executive Vice President Dennis Wharton. "Only in a monopolist's world are 50-channel minimums, higher prices, interoperability restrictions and a required hardware upgrade considered a consumer benefit. This analysis demonstrates that XM and Sirius are engaged in nothing more than a desperate PR stunt at the expense of consumers."
NAB staff will be meeting with FCC Commissioners and FCC staff this afternoon to present the the pricing chart analysis. In addition, the analysis will be forwarded to the U.S. Department of Justice Antitrust Division, which is also reviewing the merger.
The National Association of Broadcasters is a trade association that advocates on behalf of more than 8,300 free, local radio and television stations and also broadcast networks before Congress, the Federal Communications Commission and the Courts. Information about NAB can be found at www.nab.org.