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FCC Extends Deadline For Setting Sirius/XM Leasing Conditions

The FCC has extended for another four weeks its deadline for Sirius XM to implement the FCC's mandate that the company lease out 4% of its channels to qualified designated entities (like minorities and women).

That is because the FCC has yet to come up with guidance on how it expects the company to comply with that condition.

The set-aside of channels was one of the conditions the FCC put on its July 2008 approval of the merger of the only two satellite radio companies.

In February the FCC's Media Bureau sought comment on how the leasing condition should be implemented and set May 29 as the compliance deadline for Sirius XM.

It says it got a number of comments and different proposals and has moved that to June 29, promising to get out its own implementation order for the leasing conditions "in the very near future," which would need to be soon if XM Sirius is to implement it by the new deadline.

The FCC also left some wiggle room, however, saying that “the Commission will address any additional timing issues in its implementation order.” That suggests that if the implementation rules did not come out until, say, June 28, Sirius XM might get some more time.