TV Recap: The Politics of Satellite Radio

Local radio has some advocates in high places, Cramer says.
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floating a plan for price cuts, Jim Cramer said he wants people to understand what's really happening behind the scenes.

Members of Congress care about the local radio in small towns because chances are that if they are champions of local radio, they will get mentioned, Cramer explained on TV's Wall Street Confidential

Web video Tuesday. In turn, if the representatives get mentioned, then it's cheap campaign exposure for them.

"All they really care about, a lot of these guys, is getting re-elected," Cramer said. "So the last thing they want to do is piss off a radio station in their town."

The radio station is "terrestrial" and they tend to be owned by a few companies, he went on. These companies, Cramer said, have asked for help against satellite radio, which they think of as a "mortal enemy."

As there is really no constituency that says people have to have satellite radio, Sirius and XM Satellite "have no defenders whatsoever in the Capitol, which is why they're willing to do the unthinkable, which is to unbundle and make it so that they can't make as much money per customer," he said.

As an XM and Sirius user, Cramer said he has 120 channels, out of which he listens to only three. "I would love to be able to, if I were penny-oriented, get rid of all but the three," he said. "I don't think I'm alone."

In addition, Cramer said his children also have pointed out that the car has an


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facility. Therefore, if people have an iPod, they don't even need satellite radio, unless they forget their iPods.

"Satellite radio is not indispensable, even though they claim that it is, and their balance sheets are the balance sheets from hell," Cramer said. "So this is the death mill for these companies if they can't get together."

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