What Is Satellite Radio

Written by Blaire Chandler-Wilcox
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Thanks to its wide variety of programming perfect for families, and particularly kids, parents may find their children asking, "Mom, what is satellite radio, and when can I get it?" In a world of increasingly violent video games and television programming too dumbed-down for even the common denominator, parents may actually get enthused about getting their kids, or even themselves, a satellite radio system. Satellite radio offers not only music channels devoted to kids, but also a score of comedic, dramatic, and educational programming.

What Is Satellite Radio, and What Does It Offer My Kid?

On Sirius, there's Radio Disney, for kids and "tweens," which features full line-ups of music, talk, comedy, gossip, and even educational programs as well. Sirius's other youth channel, "KidStuff," is targeted to the little ones, with music by Hilary Duff and such, appearances by Barney and the Muppets, and lots of storytelling and games that build imagination. Both channels, in addition to all the obviously fun stuff, also teach kids in quiet ways how to build character, handle potentially ethically sticky situations, and how to be resistant to peer pressure.

For older kids, there's the ubiquitous Top-40 station of course, but also channels devoted exclusively to music of the 40s through the 90s. Parents can dream that their teenage daughter may discover the joy of big band and Billie Holiday, or that their son will become fascinated by the improvisational jazz bands of the 50s and 60s. If not, there's always the probability that they'll both find the channel of punk/hard-rock/hip-hop hosted by stars of extreme sports very cool, even if parents don't.

Other channels kids of all ages can enjoy are the Discovery Channel, the E! Entertainment channel, and Cracked up Comedy. Plus, chances are, if your kids ever heard the radio dramas of the 30s, 40s and 50s, they'd be hooked. On Sirius, kids can hear Rod Serling's The Twilight Zone, plus great classics like Philip Marlowe, Sam Spade, The Shadow and more. With programming like this, the answer to, "What is satellite radio?" may be, "A parent's dream."


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