Canadian satellite radio moves towards fall launch

Canadian Satellite Radio (CSR) is another step closer to launching its XM satellite radio service this fall, something that is music to the ears of electronics retailers and car manufacturers looking to ride the satellite wave. The company has started to build its broadcast infrastructure and is currently testing coverage patterns in urban areas to determine the best placement for its land-based signal repeaters. CSR, one of three subscription radio providers licensed by the CRTC last month, plans to put $100 million into the venture during its first seven-year licensing period. This investment includes the development and installation of its repeater and base-station network and staffing, along with original studio and production facilities and the production of Canadian content in both official languages.

CSR projects that if the satellite radio industry in this country develops as quickly as the U.S. market, the Canadian economy will benefit to the tune of $2 billion over the next decade through licensing fees, retail sales, taxes, jobs, marketing spend, Canadian artist development funs and artist royalties. As with the other two subscription services, CSR must offer eight original Canadian channels, two of them French-language, to fulfill its licensing requirements. The rest of the channels will come from CSR's U.S. partner XM Satellite Radio, the number one service south of the border with more than 4 million subscribers. CSR is Canadian owned and controlled by John Bitove. The other two newly-licensed subscription services are a satellite service from Sirius Canada, a joint venture of U.S.-based Sirius Satellite Radio (20%), CBC (40%) and Standard Radio (40%); and a 50-channel terrestrial DAB (digital audio broadcast) service proposed by CHUM and Astral Media Radio.

Canadian Satellite Radio (CSR) is another step closer to launching its XM satellite radio service this fall, something that is music to the ears of electronics retailers and car manufacturers looking to ride the satellite wave. The company has started to build its broadcast infrastructure and is currently testing coverage patterns in urban areas to determine the best placement for its land-based signal repeaters. CSR, one of three subscription radio providers licensed by the CRTC last month, plans to put $100 million into the venture during its first seven-year licensing period. This investment includes the development and installation of its repeater and base-station network and staffing, along with original studio and production facilities and the production of Canadian content in both official languages.

CSR projects that if the satellite radio industry in this country develops as quickly as the U.S. market, the Canadian economy will benefit to the tune of $2 billion over the next decade through licensing fees, retail sales, taxes, jobs, marketing spend, Canadian artist development funs and artist royalties. As with the other two subscription services, CSR must offer eight original Canadian channels, two of them French-language, to fulfill its licensing requirements. The rest of the channels will come from CSR’s U.S. partner XM Satellite Radio, the number one service south of the border with more than 4 million subscribers. CSR is Canadian owned and controlled by John Bitove. The other two newly-licensed subscription services are a satellite service from Sirius Canada, a joint venture of U.S.-based Sirius Satellite Radio (20%), CBC (40%) and Standard Radio (40%); and a 50-channel terrestrial DAB (digital audio broadcast) service proposed by CHUM and Astral Media Radio.