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March Madness – Satellite Radio is One Way to Keep Tabs on Your Bracket Selections!

April 4, 2014

Are you one of the millions of Americans to fill out your bracket predicting winners of 67 NCAA games? Maybe you have money riding on your favorite schools? If that’s the case, you want to know what’s going during the entire tournament -- so you’re probably glued to your TV this month.


Basketball and brackets


Or satellite radio.

For example, SiriusXM Radio will broadcast every single game of the 2014 NCAA® Division I Men's Basketball Championship, offering subscribers nationwide uninterrupted access to play-by-play of every match-up, from the First Four® on March 18 and 19 through the Final Four® and national championship game in North Texas on April 5 and 7.

While regular radio station signals fade into static 30 or 40 miles from their source, you won’t miss a single basket with crystal-clear satellite radio that broadcasts its signal from more than 22,000 miles away, beamed from space. You could drive from Seattle, WA, to Washington, D.C., without having to change the radio station!

Two separate companies were originally granted licenses to provide satellite radio services.  In 1997, XM and Sirius were given the green light to broadcast via satellite radio.  XM got off the mark in 2001 and Sirius soon followed in 2002.  Providing monthly service for $10, each company offered various channels providing non-stop news, sports, traffic, weather and of course music and talk shows. 

One of the driving elements of satellite radio’s initial popularity was the commercial free programming and the digital aspect that provided the name of the musical artist and the song.

Back in 2008, the two satellite radio channels that started it all -- XM Satellite Radio and Sirius Satellite Radio -- merged into a single company. At this point, both companies had acquired a combined audience of 16 million subscribers.  Both employ satellites, ground repeaters and radio receivers, but have some hardware and software differences.

XM Radio's ground station transmits a signal to its two satellites, which bounce the signals back down to radio receivers on the ground. The radio receivers are programmed to receive and unscramble the digital data signal. Each receiver contains a proprietary chipset.

Sirius originally used three satellites to form an inclined elliptical satellite constellation. Programs are beamed to one of the satellites which transmits the signal to the ground, where the radio receiver picks up one of the channels within the signal. The Sirius receiver includes two parts: the antenna module and the receiver module. Inside the receiver module is a chipset consisting of eight chips that convert signals to a lower intermediate frequency.

A whole lot of technology goes into broadcasting the Big Dance. By the way, there are 147.57 quintillion possibilities on a perfect bracket. On January 21, 2014, Quicken Loans and Berkshire Hathaway (backed by billionaire Warren Buffett) announced that they would award $1 billion to the person(s) who correctly predicts the outcome of every game in the 2014 tournament.

When it comes to satellite radios, you can find a variety of Keystone Electronic’s products inside.  Here is a sampling:  Fuse Clips and Holders, Mounting Brackets, Pins, Plugs, Jacks and Sockets, Test Points, Tips, Probes, Jumpers and Clips, and Quick Fit Terminals.  And here’s to all the teams that will be competing!  Good luck and we’ll see you on the radio!