Should the government be regulating satellite radio?

I cannot stand the witchhunt that terrestrial radio has been dealing with since Janet Jackson’s “wardrobe malfunction,” so I really hate the fact that the government would consider expanding the scope of its ability to censor.

However, imagine you’re a terrestrial TV or radio station losing viewers/listeners and ad revenue because your competition doesn’t have the same content restrictions that you have to deal with. That doesn’t seem fair, and it also seems quite unlikely that terrestrial signals will find themselves deregulated any time soon.

I’m inclined to say “tough shit” to terrestrial outlets. I would rather that they not have to deal with the crap that the FCC has been dealing, however not a single one of them purchased their licenses without being aware of the ramifications.

We don’t need more restrictions in this area. In fact, I believe that we need less! However, I can at least understand the theory when it comes to free airwaves. When it comes to services that consumers are PAYING for, then there is no way I want the government getting involved.

There is no there, there. The FCC might want to censor every thing in sight, but in reality, they have controll over public airwaves, period. Not subscriber-based services.

Tough cookies for the terrestrial stations. They are using a public resource (our limited frequency spectra) and because of this have to comply with the FCC. The satellite stations are paying their own way and broadcasting signals that you must specifically purchase in order to receive. I don’t see a compelling public interest to enforce any regulation on the satellite stations.

I don’t believe they should be regulated anymore than newspapers are regulated. The reasoning I always heard when I was a broadcasting student was that radio waves are free, and you couldn’t choose to not accept them. They’re everywhere. Newspapers require you to pick them up, purchase, and read them, so they’re not under the same controls.

To me, it’s the same with satellite radio. While satellite signals are everywhere, they require you to purchase a specific receiver and pay to continue to receive the service. They’re not using public airwaves, so they should be hands-off.

And too bad to the regular broadcaster’s. Regular TV stations still survive in the land of cable, and regular radio stations will as well. Regulating satellite radio because of a business disadvantage is BS.

They would have control over whatever the government tells them they have control over.

A lotta’ good replies, and that is what you choose to reply to? :rolleyes: You meet a slightly-unsubstantiated opinion with a unsubstantiated opinion. It is obvious you are not here to debate.

However, I fear you are right. Based on past experience, the gov. is willing to legislate morals first, and make laws backing them up second. But it would be nice to hear you put a bit more thought into it.

Now, I would like to once again point out, that at the present time, while the FCC would like to have controll over the airwaves, cable, satelite, and does to some extent, their controll over content is much more limited.

I would love to see cable available on an ala carte basis. Unfortunately, this would kill any number of fringe channels. As for FCC control…screw them. I pay for smut, I expect smut, I want my smut, dammit! :smiley:

Unless you can pick up radio stations on your fillings, that doesn’t make any sense. You have to pick up, purchase, and turn on radios and televisions as well.

The reason that the FCC has control over the airwaves is that they are a limited commodity parceled out by the government, ostensibly for the public good. Newsprint and ink are not. If there were useful bandwidth enough for every random person who wanted a TV station to have one, then we wouldn’t need to censor.

Arguably, the satellite stations are using limited resources as well (geosynchronous orbits, and whatever frequency they broadcast on), but since there aren’t enough competing interests to saturate them yet, the FCC has no business regulating.

I know I’m right.
Based on past experience, the gov. is willing to legislate morals first, and make laws backing them up second. But it would be nice to hear you put a bit more thought into it.
I was unaware I was being graded… :rolleyes:

The issue isn’t what they control now. The issue is what they SHOULD be able to control. Before you start rolling your eyes at people for not wanting to debate, at least get the topic right, please.

Offhand, I would say the First Amendment would prohibit the government from doing anything about the content of satellite or cable broadcasts. The only reason the First Amendment doesn’t prohibit government regulation of over-the-air broadcasts is because it’s a limited medium and the government acts as a referee to divide up the finite available range.

Of course, I also think the First Amendment clearly prohibits the government from placing any bans on pornography and Congress and the courts hold different opinions on that issue.

You aren’t. That was just wishful thinking on my part.

Before people debate, could you clarify, bring up a debate, or something. We agree that the FCC should not have much power. Personally, I think it is fine if it remains as impotent as it was, pre-eighties. However, it looks like we agree on that. Not much debate going on. This would be far better suited for IMHO.

If satellite radio becomes extremely popular, though, it could reach a point where demand outstrips resources (not enough bandwidth, not enough places to put geosync satellites without creating interference, etc.) and at that point, some degree of purely technical regulation is called for. Of course, if the technology continues to improve faster than the population increases, this’ll be in a perpetual state of moot.

Content-based regs, though? Screw that.

Maybe not between you and I, however there seems to be debate going on in the Senate with the terrestrial media outlets feeling differently than you and I. Methinks you failed to grasp this from the OP. It is a good thing we’re not grading here…

It’s too bad terrestrial radio is seems to be taking the tack of trying to get satellite FCC regulated, instead of getting themselved less regulated.

It’s a little like that speculative fiction story where all the people with athletic abilities have to have weights attached to their limbs to reduce their skills to match those of the slowest “to level the playing field”.

I agree this would be ideal; however in the political climate that we exist right now, it’s far easier for terrestrial radio to get rid of Howard Stern and argue that the FCC pick on someone else rather than to fight for what is “right.”

FWIW, the FCC has already attempted to work outside its jurisdiction, in insisting that digital tuners respect a “Broadcast Flag”. It was struck down in court.

Harrison Bergeron, by Kurt Vonnegut, though the element of forcing people to handicap themselves in the name of equality also shows up near the end of his Sirens of Titan, and possibly other stories as well.