Sirius Canada

Sirius Canada

company_name = Sirius Canada
company_type = Private
foundation = 2005
location = Toronto, Ontario, Canada
key_people = Mark Redmond, president and CEO
industry = broadcasting
products = satellite radio
revenue =
num_employees =
homepage = [ Sirius Canada]

Sirius Canada is a Canadian partnership between Slaight Communications, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and Sirius Satellite Radio, which was one of three services licensed by the CRTC on June 16, 2005 to introduce satellite radio service to Canada.

The service's conditions of license provide for a minimum of eight Canadian-produced channels, and a maximum distribution of nine American services per Canadian channel.

Unlike its competitor, XM Radio Canada, Sirius Canada is a private company, and therefore not required to release quarterly financial result data. Although Astral Media produces two French-language music channels for the service, Slaight's share in Sirius Canada was "not" part of Astral's 2007 takeover of Slaight's terrestrial radio assets.

Subscription package

The initial lineup was announced on November 2, 2005 [ [ [] , and included 100 channels, including 10 Canadian services. Ten more services, nine American and one Canadian, were added to the package in 2006.

CBC programming

* CBC Radio One, news/information (Channel 137)
* CBC Radio Three, independent music (Channel 86)
* Première Plus, French language news/information (Channel 94)
* Bande à part, French language independent music (Channel 87)
* Sports extra, French language sports news/information (Channel 96)
* RCI Plus, multilingual news/information (Channel 95)

Slaight Communications programming

* Iceberg Radio, adult album alternative music (Channel 85)

Astral Media and Score Media programming

* Rock Velours, French language adult contemporary pop (Channel 88)
* Énergie2, French language pop/rock (Channel 89)
* Hardcore Sports Radio, sports talk (Channel 98)

In June 2006, Sirius also added an audio simulcast of The Weather Network, now found on Channel 138.

Initially, only five of these channels (Radio One, Radio 3, Première Plus, Bandeapart and Iceberg) were also offered on the US Sirius network, although as of late 2006 all of the Canadian channels are now available in the United States (although not on all Sirius receivers).

Contrary to some initial expectations, CBC Radio 2 and Espace musique are not included, at least in part because, as their terrestrial CRTC licenses [ [ CRTC Decision 2000-1] ] allow nearly 80% of "special interest" (i.e. classical, jazz) music to be foreign, they would not be in compliance with the CRTC's mandate that Canadian-produced satellite radio channels carry 85 per cent Canadian content.

Sirius Canada's license prohibits them from broadcasting "localized" content such as local or regional newscasts, weather forecasts or traffic reports. As a result the Radio One feed does not include local programs or weather forecasts. Instead, the network's local programming blocks are filled with repeat airings of other CBC programming.

The Canadian subscription package of 110 channels includes the 11 Canadian channels listed above and most, but not all of the US channels. List of Sirius Satellite Radio stations includes a graphic notation of which services are and are not available in Canada.

On April 24, 2006, it was announced that Sirius would become the exclusive satellite radio broadcaster for Canadian Football League games, beginning with the launch of the 2006 CFL season on June 16. [ [] ]

Other differences

In addition to the differences in programming there are some other minor differences between Sirius Canada and the US.

When Sirius Canada launched, it did not offer signup over the internet; instead, new customers had to activate over the phone. Currently Sirius Canada offers activation over the phone, and internet activation with a reduced activation fee. As of October 2006, Sirius Canada allows internet streaming of material to subscribers.

The selection of Sirius-compatible radios sold in Canadian retail channels is limited to only the Sirius One, the Sirius Starmate, the Sirius Starmate Replay, the Sirius XACT XTR3CK, the Stiletto and the Sirius Sportster Replay. However, people report that Sirius Canada will allow receivers purchased in the US to be activated on the Sirius Canada system.

Recently on Sirius Canada's homepage, it started to offer the Stiletto 100 SL100 to its Canadian subscribers.

Also, it has been reported that receivers purchased in Canada can be activated on the US network. However, due to firmware differences, some Canadian channels may be missing from the line-up.

Howard Stern

On September 2, 1997, Canadian radio stations Q107 (Toronto) and CHOM (Montreal) began airing the Howard Stern Show. That day, Stern called the French "peckerheads" and said that "the French should bend over for me the way they did for Hitler". That broadcast, and others, led to thousands of complaints to the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council. As a result of the complaints Q107 continued to air the Stern show but with an eight-minute tape delay and some bleeping. CHOM stopped airing Stern in August of 1998, and Q107 did the same in November 2001. Corus Entertainment's newly appointed program director John Hayes dropped Stern because he wanted to return Q107 to an all music, classic rock format. It was also problematic that Stern had been available since early 2001 on WBUF, Buffalo without the twenty minute delay or onerous editing that was taking place on Q107. Stern later announced his move to Sirius, effective January 2006, as the U. S. Federal Communications Commission has no jurisdiction over content on subscription-based services such as cable television or satellite radio. However, the CRTC has always held content jurisdiction over content on cable services and is apparently able to regulate satellite radio content as well.

Sirius Canada's license decision [ [ CRTC Decision 2005-247] ] made no explicit reference to Stern but does obligate the company to maintain the same standards (i.e. the CAB's "Sex-role Portrayal Code") as for conventional stations. The decision also recognizes Sirius's ability to air "adult" programming in separate packages, but even these must comply with the Code. (By way of comparison, even adult content from Canadian pay-per-view providers is subject to review prior to broadcast, to ensure compliance with the Code.)

Sirius Canada later announced that Howard Stern's two channels, Howard 100 and Howard 101, would not be available to its Canadian customers. Naturally this has generated negative response from Canadian fans of Stern, some of whom have claimed that they would not subscribe to any service absent the two Stern channels. According to Gary Slaight, CEO of Standard Broadcasting:

:"The CRTC, who we are licensed to, would eventually force us to take Stern down, because we have standards we have to abide by in this country when you own a broadcasting licence." [ [] ]

Nonetheless, pressure from fans, many of whom were reportedly continuing to purchase grey-market Sirius U. S. receivers, continued to build. For instance, Josef Radomski, a Canadian writer, announced on the January 11, 2006 Howard Stern Show that he had started an online petition to bring Stern to Sirius Canada.

However, the CRTC had not in fact "banned" Stern's broadcast in Canada — Sirius Canada instead chose not to risk provoking an issue with the broadcast regulator. Nonetheless, there is some ambiguity in the licence conditions. Some media commentators suggested that Sirius Canada's reluctance to carry Stern had less to do with regulatory concerns and more to do with unwillingness to pay the American company's syndication fees for the program. Others might argue that Sirius Canada was simply trying to avoid the public relations and regulatory battle that would likely follow if it decided to carry Stern.

When Sirius Canada finally announced on February 1, 2006 — three months after the Canadian service's launch — that the Howard 100 channel would be made available to all subscribers effective the following Monday [ [] ] , the announcement was covered by most media outlets but did not generate any significant backlash.

Mid-May 2006, Sirius Canada announced that it will be adding Howard 101 to its lineup. The channel has been made available to listeners in June 2006 as part of a 10-channel addition to Sirius Canada's channel lineup.


External links

* [ Sirius Canada]
* [ SIRIUS Fan Network]
* [ Sirius Canada Information & Forums]
* [ Sirius Canada Fansite]
* [ "Sirius Radio" Antenna Tips] (the antenna is most important component)

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