RCN Takes Aim at Sat Radio Merger

Cable overbuilder RCN provided yet another twist on the pending XM/Sirius merger, contacting the Federal Communications Commission about wholesale access to programming provided by a combined satellite radio company.

In a letter sent to the FCC Thursday, RCN asked the commission to obtain an explanation from the merging companies concerning future offerings of wholesale audio services. With the probability of a combined satellite radio platform being formed, RCN said there should be assurances that aim to "preserve some choice for consumers in how they obtain service, and that the merger be conditioned on assurance that such service will in fact be available."

RCN added that any assurances should be backed up "by very clear enforcement mechanisms."

In its letter, RCN said the only other available source for audio programming is Music Choice, which the company said is a Comcast-backed company.