There’s a vast difference between AM and FM. I’m not sure I buy the 200kW number, but being late on a Friday night, I’ll have to get back to you.
As a rule of thumb, Fm works by ‘line of sight’. There can be a very powerful transmitter (100 kW) that’s completely blocked out, if you live in a valley. I seem to remember a transmitter in the Florida Keys that was 100 kW+, which was needed because of the distance between mainland and the furthest point of Key West. Of course, it covered a lot of empty water, as well.
From being a PD for radio stations for more years than I care to remember, I can tell you that what we always seek is altitude. The higher the transmitter, the lower the power needs to be to penetrate.
If you think of that line of sight again, and realize that concrete, wood, glass, almost any solid material, will interfere with a signal, you realise that going through one wall hampers the signal. going through several buildings to reach your radio will hamper it exponentially more.
Or put it another way: A transmitter on the top of the Sears Tower will not only beam horizontally, but vertically as well. That means a person at ground level, 3 miles away will get a clear strong signal. Same person, with same receiver, might have trouble picking up a signal coming from only a mile away, if the transmitter (of the same wattage) is at ground level, what with there being so many buildings and other stuff between the source and the receiver.
I’d say it’s a question of logistics. As someone noted above, should I put a transmitter on the ISS and start broadcasting at 104.1 MHz, I’m gonna have a lot of pissed off radio stations on my back. The FM dial is limited. However, if there is a chance of finding a single frequence which is not occupied in N. America, I think a 10 kW transmitter on a satellite would do.
However, if we’re talking about AM, then it’s a totally different ballgame. When I was an intern at WGN720, it was considered a ‘clearchannel’ (not to be confused with the company CC) station, that reached 30+ states at night. The transmitter was 50kW. Putting the same transmitter in space - well, it’d reach half the globe. Easily.