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Regulate schmegulate

From today’s All Access:

The NAB’s President/CEO DAVID REHR has sent a letter to FCC Chairman KEVIN MARTIN asking for the Commission to investigate whether “free access” to satellite radio — free trials for car buyers and the inadvertent “leaking” of receivers’ FM transmitter signals to nearby cars — should subject satellite radio to indecency regulations.

I wonder what the folks at HBO and Cinemax and Showtime and STARZ think about this notion, since they too offer “free trials” to products which are both unregulated and otherwise available by subscription only.

Perhaps we should apply “bleeps” to the trial periods until such time that potential subscribers can demonstrate they are adult enough to stick their hands in their pockets and lift out some cash.

In fact, Mr. Rehr, it seems to me that such a tactic could be widely promoted by satellite radio operators as EXACTLY the reason why subscription radio is so valuable and important. All that stuff that’s getting bleeped…you’re onlly $12.95 a month from being treated like a responsible adult.

Or, alternatively, we could regulate satellite for the duration of a listener’s subscription simply because he or she signed up to a free trial of a few weeks. Although if we want to treat them equally, why not allow satellite to compete in our local markets? Isn’t that what equal is all about, Mr. Rehr?

If the NAB opens a can of worms they might just be baiting the wrong hook.

Here’s my suggestion: Let radio do what it does best. And if excess regulation is the problem, why don’t we fight for UNregulation where, by the way, we have a solid Constitutional leg to stand on.

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