Shock jock Howard Stern’s Sirius satellite radio show made its belated Canadian debut Monday, with a lengthy discussion about the Super Bowl followed by the usual raunchy fare and his assertion that the Canadian government is no fan of his brand of entertainment.
Stern’s arrival on Sirius Canada came nearly a month after his U.S. debut.
“That whole Canadian Sirius thing is weird,” he said. “Like on the one hand they want us because they know that we sell radios, but on the other hand they kinda want to keep us low key because the Canadian government hates us.”
Stern sidekick Robin Quivers observed that the Canadian carrier didn’t want to have to field expected complaints from listeners.
The talk show had no shortage of profanity and political incorrectness. There were also commercials despite Sirius being a subscription-based service.
The self-proclaimed King of all Media was dropped by CHOM-FM in Montreal in 1998 and in 2001 by Q-107 in Toronto after thousands of complaints to the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council — the industry’s voluntary watchdog agency.
Sirius Canada has said it does not expect Stern to run into censorship trouble this time because his satellite show is a pay service and has developed special lockout technology for customers.
But a representative for the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission has said that any abuse of human rights under the Broadcasting Act would still be investigated if there are complaints.
Sirius Canada is 40 percent owned by the Canadian Broadcasting Corp., 40 percent by Standard Radio and 20 per cent by Sirius in the United States.
Stern announced last year that he was jumping from conventional radio to satellite to avoid the jurisdiction of the U.S. Federal Communications Commission. He’s also taken potshots in the past at Canadian regulatory bureaucrats he said lacked a sense of humor.