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Satellite Radio History

Experts say satellite radio is simply an evolution of the radio industry in much the same way FM radio grew out of AM. Satellite radio began in 1992, when the ā€˜Sā€™ spectrum (frequency) was allocated by the FCC to four companies. The two main companies, Sirius and XM, each paid about $80 million dollars to buy a license.

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XM Radio, which started broadcasting in 2001, and Sirius went live 9 months later in 2002. Since then, innovative products and competition has changed the radio environment forever.

In the early years both XM and Sirius burned through large amounts of startup cash just to get their systems, studios, satellites and equipment manufacturing up and running. The challenge was for these money-losing start-ups to persuade consumers to pay for radio. They need to significantly boost their subscriber base just to break even.

The good news for both companies is that the price has dropped considerably for the hardware that consumers must purchase to receive satellite radio. Since the satellite tuners first hit the market, the price for a basic entry level satellite receiver has dropped significantly from $400.00 when it was originally introduced in 2001.

Little Known Satellite Radio Facts:

Due to the nature of broadcasting from satellites, there is a four-second delay from when the signal leaves the Broadcaster's headquarters and when it is heard back on earth.

Satellite radio broadcasts are not subject to the same FCC rules as are FM/AM radio broadcasts.

 


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