Satellite radio is defined by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU)'s ITU Radio Regulations (RR) as a broadcasting-satellite service. The satellite's signals are broadcast nationwide, across a much wider geographical area than terrestrial radio stations, and the service is primarily intended for the occupants of motor vehicles. It is available by subscription, mostly commercial free, and offers subscribers more stations and a wider variety of programming options than terrestrial radio.
Satellite radio technology was inducted into the Space Foundation Space Technology Hall of Fame in 2002. Satellite radio uses the 2.3 GHz S band in North America for nationwide digital radio broadcasting. In other parts of the world, satellite radio uses the 1.4 GHz L band allocated for DAB.
The first satellite radio broadcasts occurred in Africa and the Middle East in 1999. The first US broadcasts were in 2001 followed by Japan in 2004 and Canada in 2005.
WorldSpace was founded by Ethiopia-born lawyer Noah Samara in Washington, D.C., in 1990, with the goal of making satellite radio programming available to the developing world. On June 22, 1991, the FCC gave WorldSpace permission to launch a satellite to provide digital programming to Africa and the Middle East. WorldSpace first began broadcasting satellite radio on October 1, 1999, in Africa. India would ultimately account for over 90% of WorldSpace’s subscriber base. In 2008, WorldSpace announced plans to enter Europe, but those plans were set aside when the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in November 2008. In March 2010, the company announced it would be de-commissioning its two satellites (one served Asia, the other served Africa). Liberty Media, which owns 50% of Sirius XM Radio, had considered purchasing WorldSpace’s assets, but talks between the companies collapsed. The satellites are now transmitting educational data and operate under the name of Yazmi USA, LLC.
Ondas Media was a Spanish company which had proposed to launch a subscription-based satellite radio system to serve Spain and much of Western Europe, but failed to acquire licenses throughout Europe.
Onde Numérique was a French company which had proposed to launch a subscription-based satellite radio system to serve France and several other countries in Western Europe but has suspended its plans indefinitely, effective December, 2016.
Sirius Satellite Radio was founded by Martine Rothblatt, David Margolese and Robert Briskman. In June 1990, Rothblatt's shell company, Satellite CD Radio, Inc., petitioned the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to assign new frequencies for satellites to broadcast digital sound to homes and cars. The company identified and argued in favor of the use of the S-band frequencies that the FCC subsequently decided to allocate to digital audio broadcasting. The National Association of Broadcasters contended that satellite radio would harm local radio stations.
In April 1992, Rothblatt resigned as CEO of Satellite CD Radio; former NASA engineer Robert Briskman, who designed the company's satellite technology, was then appointed chairman and CEO. Six months later, Rogers Wireless co-founder David Margolese, who had provided financial backing for the venture, acquired control of the company and succeeded Briskman. Margolese renamed the company CD Radio, and spent the next five years lobbying the FCC to allow satellite radio to be deployed, and the following five years raising $1.6 billion, which was used to build and launch three satellites into elliptical orbit from Kazakhstan in July 2000. In 1997, after Margolese had obtained regulatory clearance and "effectively created the industry," the FCC also sold a license to the American Mobile Radio Corporation, which changed its name to XM Satellite Radio in October 1998. XM was founded by Lon Levin and Gary Parsons, who served as chairman until November 2009.
CD Radio purchased their license for $83.3 million, and American Mobile Radio Corporation bought theirs for $89.9 million. Digital Satellite Broadcasting Corporation and Primosphere were unsuccessful in their bids for licenses. Sky Highway Radio Corporation had also expressed interest in creating a satellite radio network, before being bought out by CD Radio in 1993 for $2 million. In November 1999, Margolese changed the name of CD Radio to Sirius Satellite Radio. In November 2001, Margolese stepped down as CEO, remaining as chairman until November 2003, with Sirius issuing a statement thanking him "for his great vision, leadership and dedication in creating both Sirius and the satellite radio industry."
XM’s first satellite was launched on March 18, 2001 and its second on May 8, 2001. Its first broadcast occurred on September 25, 2001, nearly four months before Sirius. Sirius launched the initial phase of its service in four cities on February 14, 2002, expanding to the rest of the contiguous United States on July 1, 2002. The two companies spent over $3 billion combined to develop satellite radio technology, build and launch the satellites, and for various other business expenses. Stating that it was the only way satellite radio could survive, Sirius and XM announced their merger on February 19, 2007, becoming Sirius XM Satellite Radio. The FCC approved the merger on July 25, 2008, concluding that it was not a monopoly, primarily due to Internet audio-streaming competition.
XM satellite radio was launched in Canada on November 29, 2005. Sirius followed two days later on December 1, 2005. Sirius Canada and XM Radio Canada announced their merger into SiriusXM Canada on November 24, 2010. It was approved by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission on April 12, 2011.
Satellite radio uses the 2.3 GHz S band in North America for nationwide digital radio broadcasting. MobaHO! operated at 2.6 GHz. In other parts of the world, satellite radio uses part of the 1.4 GHz L band allocated for DAB.
Satellite radio subscribers purchase a receiver and pay a monthly subscription fee to listen to programming. They can listen through built-in or portable receivers in automobiles; in the home and office with a portable or tabletop receiver equipped to connect the receiver to a stereo system; or on the Internet.
Ground stations transmit signals to the satellites which are 35,786 kilometers (22,236 miles) above the Equator in Clarke belt orbits. The satellites send the signals back down to radio receivers in cars and homes. This signal contains scrambled broadcasts, along with meta data about each specific broadcast. The signals are unscrambled by the radio receiver modules, which display the broadcast information. In urban areas, ground repeaters enable signals to be available even if the satellite signal is blocked. The technology allows for nationwide broadcasting, so that, for instance US listeners can hear the same stations anywhere in the country.
Satellite radio in the US offers commercial-free music stations, as well as news, sports, and talk, some of which include commercials. In 2004, satellite radio companies in the United States began providing background music to hotels, retail chains, restaurants, airlines and other businesses. On April 30, 2013, Sirius XM CEO Jim Meyer stated that the company would be pursuing opportunities over the next few years to provide in-car services through their existing satellites, including telematics (automated security and safety, such as stolen vehicle tracking and roadside assistance) and entertainment (such as weather and gas prices).
As of Q3 2016, SiriusXM had 31 million subscribers. This was primarily due to the company’s partnerships with automakers and car dealers. Roughly 60% of new cars sold come equipped with Sirius XM, and just under half of those units gain paid subscriptions. The company has long-term deals with General Motors, Ford, Toyota, Kia, Bentley, BMW, Volkswagen, Nissan, Hyundai and Mitsubishi. The presence of Howard Stern, whose show attracts over 12 million listeners per week, has also been a factor in the company’s steady growth. As of 2013, the main competition to satellite radio is streaming Internet services, such as Pandora and Spotify, as well as FM and AM Radio.
|Radio format||Satellite radio||AM/FM||Digital television radio (DTR)|
|Monthly fees||US$10.99 and up||Free||Free for terrestrial. Very low for cable television or satellite—DTR represents a small portion of the total monthly television fee.|
|Portability||Available||Prominent||None—a typical set consists of a stereo attached to a television set-top box (the primary function of the set top-box is normally designed for viewing digital television on an analogue set).|
|Listening availability||Very high—a satellite signal's footprint covers millions of square kilometres.||Low to moderate—implementation of FM service requires moderate to high population densities and is thus not practical in rural and/or remote locales; AM travels great distances at night.||Very high|
|Sound quality||Varies²||AM: Usually very low
FM: Usually Moderate, but can be very high
|Variety and depth of programming||Highest||Variable—highly dependent upon economic/demographic factors||Variable—dependent on location and the television provider for cable and satellite, dependent on the various packages they provide and on the user's subscription.|
|Frequency of programming interruptions (by DJs or commercial advertising)³||None to high—mostly dependent on the channels, some of which have DJs; most channels are advertisement-free because of the paid subscription model of satellite radio.||Highest4||None to low—dependent on the provider; however, it is common that some stations will have DJs. Usually no advertisements on subscription services (DirecTV and Dish Network both claim to provide advertisement-free content).|
|Governmental regulation||Yes5 (minimal)||Yes—significant governmental regulations regarding content6||Yes for terrestrial. For cable and satellite, low to none 5|
² The sound quality with both satellite radio providers and DTR providers varies with each channel. Some channels have near CD-quality audio, and others use low-bandwidth audio suitable only for speech. Since only a certain amount of bandwidth is available within the licenses available, adding more channels means that the quality on some channels must be reduced. Both the frequency response and the dynamic range of satellite channels can be superior to most, but not all AM or FM radio stations, as most AM and FM stations clip the audio peaks to sound louder; even the worst channels are still superior to most AM radios, but a very few AM tuners are equal to or better than the best FM or satellite broadcasts when tuned to a local station, even if not capable of stereo. The use of HD Radio technology can allow AM and FM broadcasts to exceed the quality of satellite. AM does not suffer from multipath distortion or flutter in a moving vehicle like FM, nor does it become silent as you go behind a big hill like satellite radio.
³ Some satellite radio services and DTR services act as in situ repeaters for local AM/FM stations and thus feature a high frequency of interruption.
4 Nonprofit stations and public radio networks such as PRI-affiliated stations and the BBC are commercial-free. In the US, all stations are required to have periodic station identifications and public service announcements.
5 In the United States, the FCC regulates technical broadcast spectrum only. Program content is unregulated. However, the FCC has tried in the past to expand its reach to regulate content to satellite radio and cable television, and its options are still open to attempt such in the future. The FCC does issue licenses to SiriusXM, the satellite radio provider, and controls who holds these licenses to broadcast. Many of their channels, including the pop music ones, are self-regulated.
6 Degree of content regulation varies by country; however, the majority of industrialized nations have regulations regarding obscene and/or objectionable content.
CNN en Español (stylized as CÑÑ) is a Pan-American Spanish-language news channel, owned by WarnerMedia. It was launched on pay-television, on 17 March 1997.ESPN Deportes Radio
ESPN Deportes Radio is a Spanish language sports radio network created and produced by Disney-owned ESPN. Programming includes call-in talk shows and commentary from hosts about a full range of sporting events, including soccer, American football, baseball and boxing.
The network has stations in 15 states in the United States (Arizona, California, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Maryland, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, Washington and Wisconsin). It is also available in Puerto Rico and México's North and is available nationally on Sirius Satellite Radio and XM Satellite Radio on Channel 149.
It features sports news and talk in Spanish, with a special emphasis on soccer. Popular personalities on the network include Jorge Ramos, Fernando Alvarez, Hernan Pereyra, José del Valle, Kenneth Garay, Rafael Ramos Villagrana, Elmer Polanco, Armando Talavera Broderick Zerpa, Giovanni Scavia, Jairo Moncada, Noe Vazquez, Diego Cora, Humberto Carrera, José Francisco Rivera, Oscar Restrepo, Alberto "Mono" Gambetta, David Lopez, Miguel Angel Cebreros, Dionisio Estrada, Bernardo Pilatti, Guillermo Celis, Renato Bermudez, Alvaro Riet, Omar Orlando Salazar, David Faitelson, Carlos Arratia and Luis Escobar
ESPN Deportes as well as its English counterpart ESPN Radio were retained by Disney in the sale of ABC Radio to Citadel Broadcasting. Despite the separation of ownership, ESPN Radio & ESPN Deportes are still listed as part of the Cumulus Media Networks (formerly ABC Radio and Citadel Media; now, as of 2014, merged into Westwood One) family because Cumulus Media (new owners since September 16, 2011) sells the advertising time on both services.Elvis Radio
Elvis Radio is an all-Elvis Presley station on Sirius XM Radio channel 19 and Dish Network channel 6019.
The station began broadcasting from Graceland in Memphis in 2004 from a small, state-of-the-art facility surrounded by windows near the ticket plaza. The very first voice ever heard on Elvis radio was Bill Rock (originally from New York Radio stations WNBC, WYNY, WCBS-FM). It includes many hundreds of songs from the early years, the classics, the comebacks, rarities, live tracks and mostly everything Elvis ever recorded. With the contacts made by station staff, some recordings have been unearthed that have rarely been heard anywhere else.
Among the airstaff on Elvis Radio is George Klein, a best friend of Elvis, and a WHBQ DJ in the early days of rock and roll, Doctor Rob Walker, Memphis-native, Argo, Big Jim Sykes, "TY", and Dave Shelby. Bill Rock remains the longest running DJ on the station on Saturday nights.Go Bowling at The Glen
The Go Bowling at The Glen is a 90-lap, 220.86-mile (355.44 km) annual Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series stock car race held at Watkins Glen International in Watkins Glen, New York, on the 2.45-mile (3.94 km) road course. It is one of three road course races on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schedule, with the others being the Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway and the Bank of America Roval 400 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.KIIS-FM
KIIS-FM (pronounced "Kiss FM") (102.7 MHz, "102.7 KIIS FM") is a commercial FM radio station which is licensed to Los Angeles, California and broadcasts to the Greater Los Angeles area. The station airs a contemporary hit radio (CHR) or "top 40" format. Owned by iHeartMedia, KIIS-FM is the origin of the KISS-FM brand and serves as the flagship station for the radio program On Air with Ryan Seacrest. The KIIS-FM studios are located in Burbank, while the station transmitter resides on Mount Wilson north of Los Angeles.
Besides a standard analog transmission, KIIS-FM broadcasts over two HD Radio channels including "Evolution" on its HD2 subchannel, featuring an all-dance music format; streams online via iHeartRadio; and extends its on-air signal by using a single full-power repeater, KVVS (105.5 FM) in Rosamond, California. The station also simulcasts over channel 11 on Sirius XM satellite radio. KIIS-FM has consistently been rated the number-one radio station in the Los Angeles/Orange County and Ventura County markets, averaging nearly one million listeners.KIIS-FM is one of two top 40 stations in the Los Angeles area, the other being KAMP-FM (97.1 FM), owned by Entercom.List of Sirius XM Radio channels
Since 2008, Sirius XM Radio has had a similar channel lineup, with a few differences based on whether the individual has a Sirius Satellite Radio or an XM Satellite Radio. Although the two services merged in 2007, for technical and legal reasons separate radios continue to be manufactured for the separate services despite the programming lineups having merged.
The following is a list of channels on Sirius XM and Sirius XM Canada. There are a total of 151 full-time channels on Sirius XM, 130 of which are on Sirius XM Canada. Not included are channels that are specifically used for live sports programming, as well as former music channels that were merged with a duplicate music channel after the merger.NPR Music
NPR Music is a project of National Public Radio, an American privately and publicly funded non-profit membership media organization, that launched in November 2007 to present public radio music programming and original editorial content for music discovery. NPR Music offers current and archival podcasts, live concert webcasts, reviews, music lists, news, studio sessions, and interviews to listen to from NPR and partner public radio stations across the country, as well as an index of public radio music stations streaming live on the Internet. There are two blogs: "Monitor Mix" by Sleater-Kinney musician Carrie Brownstein and the All Songs Considered Blog by Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton.Pearl Jam Radio
Pearl Jam Radio is a Sirius XM Radio channel playing music from American rock band Pearl Jam. It is heard on Sirius channel 22 (previously 17) and XM channel 22 (previously 39).
In addition to live, rare, studio, and b-side tracks from Pearl Jam, the channel also plays music from various Pearl Jam members' side projects (Brad, Mad Season, Temple of the Dog) as well as music that influenced Pearl Jam. Some of these bands include The Who and X.Public Radio Exchange
The Public Radio Exchange (PRX) is a nonprofit web-based platform for digital distribution, review, and licensing of radio programs. The organization claims to be the largest on-demand catalog of public radio programs available for broadcast and Internet use.Radio Margaritaville
Radio Margaritaville is a worldwide Internet radio station and SiriusXM Satellite Radio station (Ch. 24) owned by Jimmy Buffett. It features 24-hour music and live broadcasts of Jimmy Buffett's concerts.Road Dog Trucking
Road Dog Trucking is a truckers' talk radio channel on the Sirius XM Radio service. It covers subjects relevant to the trucking community, including politics, economics, and social issues. On February 17, 2009, the Sirius channel's programming merged with the programs heard on XM Radio's Open Road. Most of the programs from both services were retained.Shade 45
Shade 45 is a music channel that plays uncensored hip-hop by Eminem and Shady Records and airs on Sirius XM Radio 45 and Dish Network 6045, the producer is Eminem.Sirius Satellite Radio
Sirius Satellite Radio was a satellite radio (SDARS) and online radio service operating in North America, owned by Sirius XM Holdings.
Headquartered in New York City, with smaller studios in Los Angeles and Memphis, Sirius was officially launched on July 1, 2002. It now provides 69 streams (channels) of music and 65 streams of sports, news, and entertainment to its subscribers. Music streams on Sirius carry a wide variety of genres, broadcasting 24 hours daily, commercial-free, and uncensored. A subset of Sirius music channels is included as part of the Dish Network satellite television service. Sirius channels are identified by Nielsen Audio with the label "SR" (e.g. "SR120", "SR9", "SR17").
Its business model is to provide pay-for-service radio, analogous to the business model for premium cable television. Music channels are presented without advertising, while its talk channels, such as Howard Stern's Howard 100 and Howard 101 & Jason Ellis’ Faction talk 103, carry commercials. Because all channels are free from FCC content regulation, songs are played unedited for language; talk programs may also feature explicit content if they wish. Subscriptions are prepaid and range in price from US$14.99 monthly (US$9.99 for each additional receiver) to US$699.99 for lifetime (of the receiver equipment) There is a US$15 activation fee for every radio activated. Sirius announced it had achieved its first positive cash flow quarter for the period ending December 2006.Sirius launched its radio service in four states on February 14, 2002, expanding service to the rest of the contiguous U.S. by July of that year. On October 16, 2006, Sirius announced that it would be launching Sirius Internet Radio, with 78 of its 135 channels being available worldwide on the internet to any of its subscribers with a valid user name and password.
On July 29, 2008, Sirius formally completed its merger with former competitor XM Satellite Radio. The combined company began operating under the name Sirius XM Satellite Radio. On November 12, 2008, Sirius and XM began broadcasting with their new, combined channel lineups. On January 13, 2011, Sirius Satellite Radio was dissolved as a separate entity and merged into Sirius XM Radio, Inc.Sirius XM Satellite Radio
Sirius XM Holdings, Inc., doing business as Sirius XM Satellite Radio, is a broadcasting company headquartered in Midtown Manhattan, New York City that provides three satellite radio and online radio services operating in the United States: Sirius Satellite Radio, XM Satellite Radio, and Sirius XM Radio. The company also has a minor interest in SiriusXM Canada, an affiliate company that provides Sirius and XM service in Canada. At the end of 2013, Sirius XM reorganized their corporate structure, which made Sirius XM Radio Inc. a direct, wholly owned subsidiary of Sirius XM Holdings, Inc.Sirius XM Radio was formed after the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approved the acquisition of XM Satellite Radio Holding, Inc. by Sirius Satellite Radio, Inc. on July 29, 2008, 17 months after the companies first proposed the merger. The merger brought the combined companies a total of more than 18.5 million subscribers based on current subscriber numbers on the date of merging. The deal was valued at $3.3 billion, not including debt. Through Q2 2017, Sirius XM has more than 32 million subscribers.The proposed merger was opposed by those who felt a merger would create a monopoly. Sirius and XM argued that a merger was the only way that satellite radio could survive.In September 2018, the company agreed to purchase the competing streaming music service, Pandora, and this transaction was successfully completed on the 1st of February 2019.The Beatles Channel
The Beatles Channel is a Sirius XM Radio channel focusing on the music of the Beatles. The channel debuted in 2017, and broadcasts on Sirius XM Radio channel 18.
The channel is described as follows:The Beatles were the big bang of pop - they created the musical world we live in today. Now for the first time, the most popular band in history presents their own channel. All things Beatles, 24/7. All of their hits, album tracks, rarities & solo songs, along with the records that influenced them and music inspired by them. Plus, hear specials, interviews and exclusive hosted shows. It's the soundtrack of our world made by John, Paul, George and Ringo.The Grateful Dead Channel
The Grateful Dead Channel is a Sirius XM Radio channel playing music spanning American rock band The Grateful Dead's entire career including unreleased concert recordings.
It also has featured original shows hosted by band members Bob Weir, Mickey Hart, Phil Lesh, and Bill Kreutzmann. Rare archival interviews with Jerry Garcia are also featured. Another prime feature is Today in Grateful Dead History, in which the Dead's official archivist, David Lemieux, plays a selection from the Dead's touring past that took place on or near that date, together with his personal remembrances of particular venues and interpretations of what stretches were or were not artistically successful for the group. The Channel also broadcast live the band's 2015 Fare Thee Well shows.This channel was originally on Sirius Satellite Radio. It airs on Sirius XM Radio channel 23 and on Dish Network channel 6023.The Highway (Sirius XM)
The Highway is a commercial-free country music radio channel on Sirius XM channel 56 (previously 60 on Sirius), and 56 on XM (previously 16) (where it replaced Highway 16 on XM) and channel 6056 on Dish Network.
The Highway can also be streamed at SiriusXM.com and through its app for mobile devices.
The Highway broadcasts from Sirius XM's New York City studios, as well as studios at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee.
The Highway is among the most popular music channels on satellite radio. As of 2014, SiriusXM reports it has more than 27 million subscribers.Most Fridays, listeners visiting Nashville are invited to the Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville Cafe to become a part of the show called the "Music Row Happy Hour" with Buzz Brainard.Recent exclusive programming includes artist "Town Hall" broadcasts with Jason Aldean, Taylor Swift, and Ronnie Dunn, and live concerts with Tim McGraw, Luke Bryan, and The Band Perry, Until February 9, 2010, it was heard on DirecTV channel 814.
The channel has changed the music business by creating new stars through its "Highway Find" feature; which gives airplay to unsigned and independent artists. The channel bypasses the traditional record company lock on the business.Underground Garage
Underground Garage is the name shared by two related but different radio outlets, a syndicated show and a satellite radio station, both created and supervised by Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band guitarist Steven Van Zandt to present rock 'n' roll and garage rock on radio. Both outlets play a mixture of garage rock both old and new, and the music which influenced today's garage rock. On both the Sirius XM channel and on the syndicated show, one song is regularly proclaimed as "The Coolest Song in the World This Week."XM Satellite Radio
XM Satellite Radio (XM) was one of the three satellite radio (SDARS) and online radio services in the United States and Canada, operated by Sirius XM Holdings. It provided pay-for-service radio, analogous to cable television. Its service included 73 different music channels, 39 news, sports, talk and entertainment channels, 21 regional traffic and weather channels and 23 play-by-play sports channels. XM channels were identified by Arbitron with the label "XM" (e.g., "XM32" for "The Bridge").
The company had its origins in the 1988 formation of the American Mobile Satellite Corporation (AMSC), a consortium of several organizations originally dedicated to satellite broadcasting of telephone, fax, and data signals. In 1992, AMSC established a unit called the American Mobile Radio Corporation dedicated to developing a satellite-based digital radio service; this was spun off as XM Satellite Radio Holdings, Inc. in 1999. The satellite service was officially launched on September 25, 2001.
On July 29, 2008, XM and former competitor Sirius Satellite Radio formally completed their merger, following U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approval, forming Sirius XM Radio, Inc. with XM Satellite Radio, Inc. as its subsidiary. On November 12, 2008, Sirius and XM began broadcasting with their new, combined channel lineups. On January 13, 2011, XM Satellite Radio, Inc. was dissolved as a separate entity and merged into Sirius XM Radio, Inc. Prior to its merger with Sirius, XM was the largest satellite radio company in the United States.
|Satellite radio / TV|
|Relay satellite companies|