DOJ Approves XM-Sirius Merger (Sports Fans 1, Liberals 0)

I couldn't be happier. My baseball nerd-dom compels me to subscribe to XM, as they carry every MLB game. Now that the merger has gone through, I get access to the NFL and English Premier League. In the words of the internet hate machine, epic get.

I know several other sports fans that have either XM or Sirius, and not a one were opposed to the merger. They, like me, were very frustrated with the likes of John Kerry and the rest of the left that were looking for antitrust to strike down the proposed merger for causing a year-long delay. I could have been listening to my beloved Roflham Lolspur fall flat on their face since August (with the worst start to a season in club history, and the club has been around since 1882).

I'd be willing to bet that most opposed to the merger, claiming to act on behalf of consumers, weren't actually consuming the services offered by either XM or Sirius (maybe, at best, via the limited XM channels Direct TV subscribers have access to). Once again the old stakeholder nonsense rears its ugly head, allowing liberals to speak for people they don't actually represent.

The legitimate counterargument was made that XM and Sirius are competing across technologies, with broadcast, internet, and wireless radio (via cell phone companies), and that a merger of the only two satellite companies to ever exist, neither of whom are very old, wasn't a big deal since people had so many other delivery methods for similar content. On top of that, satellite radio is proprietary. It's not like broadcast radio where there are only so many frequencies. The barrier to entry is lower, if another company wants to come along and give the satellite game a shot. This prompted members of the antitrust cult to warn that if the XM-Sirius merger went through, the cross-technology competition argument would lead to huge mergers across all types of media, established and emerging. While I doubt that happens under the coming Democrat controlled executive and legislative branches, I once again had to stop and say, "So what?"

This is one of those occasions when the Democrats really deserve to be branded conservative. Television isn't going to be phased out in the near future, but it is going to be phased out. As bandwidth and speed continue to improve, the internet is going to hack apart the big television networks just like it did the newspapers. At least television has seen the fate of those papers who were slow to embrace the inevitable. NBC streams Sunday night football on its website. You can watch some of the FX Network's original series on Hulu free of charge (I like It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia and Sons of Anarchy). The networks can run adverts just the same. It's not going to be long until they all wise up and move online. Let CBS and NBC merge. A huge part of the barrier to entry is the FCC, which probably won't attempt to extend its jurisdiction over the internet and satellite radio until Obama's second term. On the internet, the networks already have to compete on equal footing for viewers with the likes of YouTube and College Humor.

It's another reminder that the faster technology moves, the better. Government is slow, cumbersome, and reactionary. Freedom tends to flourish as technology accelerates. Let the Democracy Now, independent media gang of Herbs cry in their granola and soy milk this morning. I'll be busy listening to Steven Cohen and Kenny Hassan on World Soccer Daily come noon with a big, shiteating grin stretching from ear to ear by then.

Goooal! You statist wankers!

(At least until the FCC does get to censor satellite radio, despite the fact that it's a private and not public service that you can't get without proprietary hardware.)

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Back in

Back in March

http://blogs.wsj.com/deals/2008/03/12/mel-karmazin-finally-goes-on-the-attack/?mod=WSJBlog

The highly optimistic CEO of Sirius Satellite Radio (left) sounded more than a little peeved at the extraordinary amount of time it is taking to close his deal with XM Satellite Radio Holdings. It isn't just the time factor: the two companies submitted 12 million pages of documents in August alone, and they have 140 lawyers reviewing documents (lawyers and advisers, that is, "of which we pay them far too much money," Karmazin sighed).

I am happy about the merger

I am happy about the merger going through since both satellite radio services were likely to tank without merging. However, as a music fan I am ominously awaiting the ruin of XM's unique and brilliant commercial-free, fan-driven music programming. I always thought it was too good to last forever, and now I kind of expect it to be ruined by the new management. There is plenty of access to sports programming all over the place. Pretty much all satellite radio adds is collecting it conveniently in one place and maintaining continuous access everywhere you go. But with the music- well, you can hear music on satellite radio that you will not hear anywhere on FM or AM. That was truly special.