XM/Sirius takes a WIFE


Have you ever heard of Women Involved in Farm Economics (WIFE)? We haven't either. Nevertheless, the group has become the latest to endorse the proposed merger of XM Satellite Radio and Sirius Satellite Radio. WIFE President Pam Potthoff said that if the merger goes through, it "…will ensure that our communities continue to receive important informational service via satellite radio, and also will provide our constituents with more programming choices at improved prices."

WIFE notes that Sirius is good for news and weather info during natural disasters and that XM has Red Cross Radio, with info for both "victims and relief workers in disaster zones."

SmartMedia observation: We've seen relatively unknown Hispanic organizations go to bat for the merger, also expecting that somehow they're going to get double the programming. The antitrust experts we've heard, on the other hand, argue that customers in rural areas not well served by AM-FM radio are precisely the ones at the greatest risk if the two services merge. Instead of having two national services to choose from, they'll be stuck with whatever the merged entity wants to give them. Will it be double the service, or a few crumbs? Will it be more choice, or less? All we know is that consumers do not tend to fare well in a monopoly situation, and WIFE is representing the consumers most in need of the service, but with the least amount of cumulative cash to spend on it. Do you'll think they'll be a top priority for the combined entity?