PROVO — BYU Radio was just named one of five channels given lease space on Sirius XM Satellite Radio in a push for new "diversity" channels.The decision means that BYU Radio will go from a small "narrow-cast" internet-based radio channel to a nationwide satellite offering, reaching hundreds of thousands more listeners.
"When I joined BYU Broadcasting last fall, I knew we had something with a lot of potential in BYU Radio," said Don Shelline, BYU Radio Manager. "There is such a wealth of information, education, talent and enthusiasm that flows from the BYU campus. To be able to channel all that into a broadcast schedule that can now go out across the nation - that's a radio dream come true."
BYU Radio got the opportunity thanks to a business merger between Sirius and XM, which included a rule from the Federal Communications Commission that Sirius XM allocate four-percent of the full-time audio channels on both platforms for content not associated with their company.
So Sirius XM began looking for programming that represented "diverse viewpoints and/or diverse entertainment content" and "improved service to historically underserved audiences" according Sirius' website.
Last November, BYU Radio submitted a proposal and was recently notified they had been selected from more than 40 stations. BYU Radio will launch on Sirius and XM platforms sometime prior to BYU's fall football season and the LDS General Conference in October.
"This will be a great opportunity to share the rich educational, cultural and entertainment resources of BYU with radio listeners throughout the entire country," said Marcus Smith, radio services manager at BYU Broadcasting and host of the interview program, "Thinking Aloud," adding that sports fans should love the ability to listen to coverage of the Cougars no matter where they live in the United States.
"This marks a valuable step in increasing the diversity of programming available to satellite radio listeners, while promoting access for new entrants and independent satellite radio programming," FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said in a release. "I applaud Sirius XM for its new line up."
The other winners were:
Howard University (licensee of WHUR-FM and WHUT-TV) (one channel each on Sirius and XM)
Music and talk programming for the African American community
Music and talk programming for the African American community, with programs from Historically Black Colleges and Universities
Eventus/National Latino Broadcasting (one channel each on Sirius and XM)
Spanish language talk programming
Spanish language music programming
WorldBand Media (one channel each on Sirius and XM)
Spanish language talk programming
KTV Radio (One channel on XM)
Korean language music and talk programming
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