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CNN Today

Satellite Radio: Antidote to Commercial Cacophony?

Aired March 10, 2000 - 2:47 p.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

DONNA KELLEY, CNN ANCHOR: It could be the biggest thing to shake up radio since Elvis: satellite radio, crystal clear, coast-to-coast, and commercial-free.

Here's CNN's Ed Garsten in Detroit.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ED GARSTEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Radio turned up, you are rocking and riding, but when the music stops, you're not a happy jammer.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think the commercials are too long, and there's too many of them.

GARSTEN: This may be the antidote to commercial cacophony: satellite radio.

IRA BAHR, SIRIUS SATELLITE RADIO: Our music will be entirely commercial-free.

GARSTEN: Sirius is one of at least three companies that will begin offering satellite radio service in cars as a factory-installed option by early next year.

BAHR: We will have 50 channels of every conceivable genre of music. If you like rock, there are seven kinds; if you like jazz, there are five. From rhythm and blues to reggae and on and on.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I wish they'd tell you who was singing the songs, like they used to in the old days.

BAHR: When you listen to these stations, the display will show you the name of the channel you're listening to, the name of the artist, and the name of the track.

GARSTEN: The advantage of satellites is you never lose a station, as long as you're in the U.S. As for cost, all three companies will bundle the radio into a car's option package.

BAHR: So that the price of the receiver will be invisible to the customer.

GARSTEN: But you'll need to buy a subscription for about $10 a month.

(on camera): Well, satellite radio doesn't mean you have to one of these things sitting on top of your car. The folks with Sirius Radio say the actual antenna will be about the size of a fist.

(voice-over): And you can still receive your favorite local stations. But when you are tired of the talk or the bad reception, you can always switch: CD-quality satellite.

Ed Garsten, CNN, Detroit.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

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