RUSH: As you know, and I’ve addressed this countless times on many previous excursions into broadcast excellence, e-mails pour in, ?Rush, are you on XM? Rush, are you on Sirius satellite? Are you making any plans to go there?” The answer has always been I can’t do it. I have 800 radio stations here, as it was testified to in Congress yesterday. I have 800 radio stations here, and I can’t cannibalize them. They’ve made me who I am. They’ve stuck with me for eight and a half years, almost 19 now, and to just abandon them? It’s one of these unfortunate things. Sometimes when you’re at the top, options are limited. It’s just the way it is. Anyway, as you may know, there are merger discussions taking place between the two satellite companies, and they’re going to have to get regulatory approval in order for the merger to be approved. The top dog at SIRIUS Satellite Radio, Mel Karmazin testified yesterday on Capitol Hill before the House Judiciary Committee Anti-Trust Task Force on Competition and the Future of Digital Music. Congressman Steven Cohen, Democrat from Tennessee, said, ?Mr. Karmazin, the only competitor you have is XM, right??
KARMAZIN: We compete with terrestrial radio as well. As an example right now, Rush Limbaugh is on terrestrial radio. One could argue, would we — the answer is we’re not. I’m not discussing — not that it would be bad. All I’m saying is if we chose to hire Rush Limbaugh, we would be competing with terrestrial radio because he’s on the 800 radio stations. We’re not competing with XM. The market is too small, sir. If we got all of their subscribers, if we got them all, okay, the market would still not be significant enough to pay for the fixed costs of operating the business. So the only business model that works is us to be able to get more subscribers. And the way you get more subscribers when you’re dealing — particularly when you have the money now available through synergies — is to be able to offer lower prices.
RUSH: So he is suggesting that one of the reasons for the need for the merger is not that their competition is XM, the other satellite company, but rather terrestrial radio and me being on the 800 stations. Now, what did this mean? What was he saying here? ?One could argue, would we — well, the answer is we’re not. I’m not discussing — not that it would be bad.? What’s he talking about there? Mr. Snerdley, you have any ideas? (Laughing.) One thing I’m confused about, ?All I’m saying is if we chose to hire Rush Limbaugh we would be competing with terrestrial radio because he’s on the 800 radio stations.? But if they hired me, I wouldn’t be on the 800 terrestrial radio stations. What did you say, Mike? That would really do what? If they hired me it would really screw things up. Well, no. No. Nobody gets screwed up by hiring me or partnering with me. It doesn’t happen.
Anyway, that’s just the latest on this. I mentioned this only for this reason: Many people, as I say, are frequently asking me about this, and I’ve discussed this in great detail in terms of the business model of it, and what would make it so difficult. I cannot put this show on satellite at the same time it’s on radio stations. Why cannibalize the radio stations? I can’t do it. ?But, Rush, but, Rush, I mean there’s some places I drive in the mountains of West Virginia and I can’t pick you up.? I feel bad about that. But that’s not a sufficient reason to make the change. Look at the lower universe of audience that would exist there. But he says it right here. The market is too small. “If we got all of XM subscribers, if we got them all, the market would still not be significantly large enough to pay for the fixed costs of operating the business. So the only business model that works is us to be able to get more subscribers,” and the fast way to do that is to merge with XM.
I just wanted to get this on the table and get it out there because it comes up frequently, just as, even though it was just last week, we had a call from a very well spoken soldier talking to us about the circumstances in Iraq versus when he comes home and what he sees in the media. He mentioned that he listened to the program in Iraq via podcast of my program, downloadable at RushLimbaugh.com for subscribers. So I said, ?You just reminded me of something. Can I take time-out from your call, will not shorten the length of time we spend with you.? He said, ?Sure, go ahead.? Always getting e-mails from people, ?Why aren’t the parodies on the podcasts? Why isn’t the music on the podcasts??
I’ve explained this countless times, and the explanation’s on the website. Just got one last night. ?How come no music on the podcasts? How come no parodies?? It?s very simple. It’s a licensing issue. We simply don’t have the licensing permission to use these parodies and music beyond the radio program. It’s complicated. The radio stations pay the license fee, our affiliates do, and right now it’s virgin territory here for additional ways of broadcasting. We?re working on it trying to find a way to get it done, but so far such a way has not made itself available, and that is the sole reason.