A-la-cart programming seems like a joke

mcf57

Member
Dec 5, 2008
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I have had a Starmate 5 now for about a yr with SIRIUS everything w/ Best of XM at $16.99/month. My renewal is coming up and I thought I would take a serious look at their a-la-cart offerings since this radio is compatible with it. I had briefly looked at it before and thought it was kind of useless, but figured I would give it another shot and sit down to see what I really want.

I thought about getting the A-la-cart + sports + Stern option. This Starmate mainly resides in my wife's vehicle so in additon to my stuff, she listens to Rosie Radio, Martha Stewart and Oprah's channel. Well, I figured out that the Oprah channel is not offered on ANY a-la-cart package. AM I looking at this right? Also, I am a hockey fan & while I see the sports channels offered that broadcast the NHL games (ch215-220), I didn't see ch208 offered in the lineup. WTF? If so, I guess I'll be sticking with the 'everything w/ best of XM' like in the past.

I think these a-la-cart offerings are such a joke/sham and useless if you ask me. They were obviously something done to please the FCC in order to help make the merger fully go through, but is truly smoke & mirrors. What do you save, like $2.

It makes no real sense to even mess with an a-la-cart packaging unless you truly listen to JUST music & want to only pay $6.99 for 50 channels. And even then there are "premium" channels in the music offerings that would cost extra anyway. Again, WTF?
 
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atlwxman

Member
Oct 14, 2008
74
0
6
All of the agreements that Sirius came up with to get the merger approved are a joke.

Paying more for your sub? Yep, thanks to the royalty fee.

Got a second sub...paying more for that!

Wanna listen online...oops, that's no longer free.
 

limegrass69

Confused
Oct 12, 2008
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Sirius/XM agreed to provide an a la carte option. They never agreed that it had to be a good deal.

Sucky, but true.
 

DAB

Mod Emeritus
Oct 9, 2008
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Amen limegrass69! They did this only as part of the process to get the merger approved, but clearly never really intended to promote them or make them attractive.
 

kryptonite

Well-Known Member
Oct 21, 2008
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Amen limegrass69! They did this only as part of the process to get the merger approved, but clearly never really intended to promote them or make them attractive.

Isn't it popular opinion that they did this only so the FCC (or some other government group) could stick it to the cable/satellite providers and eventually "force" them to offer similar offerings?

What they don't realize is that Sirius XM controls most of their channels, with the notable exception of the "TV channels" and the sports PbP. This is entirely unlike pay TV, where the service providers (Time Warner, Comcast, DirecTV, Dish Network), pass the channels along to the customer.

OTOH, if you want to subscribe to Sirius XM, but don't want to feel like you're paying for any of the edgy content (Howard, O&A, etc.), now you have an option. Sirius was probably thinking that there are a few people who would take them up on this.

Sirius made a good business decision by not offering their marquee talent on a discounted tier.


As for the royalty fees, they're merely passing along what was forced on them. If/when the same thing happens to FM radio, don't you think that they'll raise advertiser rates (or increase commercials?) I notice even "free" Pandora now only lets you skip so many songs per hour AND has a cap of how many hours you can listen per month.
 

limegrass69

Confused
Oct 12, 2008
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Personally, I think the hope with a la carte was that it was somehow going to provide the consumer with more choices and lower costs.

The reality is that it never works. I don't think the TV industry was considered here. In that case, if they went to an a la carte model, the 25 or so TV channels that are the most popular would cost an arm and a leg, and the "other" channels would cost pennies. The end result is that the consumer would pay about the same or more and end up with less. Many channels would not exist under the a la carte model. The dirty little secret in the cable industry is that most of the channels on your lineup are there either because the provider pays your cable/satellite company for carriage, or they are jammed down everyone's throats as a condition of carriage of some other channel (like ESPN or CNN, etc.) that most people actually want.
 

v1ru5

Well-Known Member
Oct 24, 2008
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Harrisburg PA.
The way things are now it is a joke, the way it is now is just to satisfy the FCC. Wether you have Sirius or XM as far as the music channels go same taste, different lable. Add BOS or BOXM....There's your A-la-cart. I would appreciate being able to listen to Lynn Samuels on my XM radio and not just online which I don't subscribe to any more.
 

xan_user

Banned
Dec 16, 2008
3,234
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Nor-Cal
A good/fair a la carte package would be the only way I would subscribe again. (that and some deeper playlists..:rolleyes:)
 

kryptonite

Well-Known Member
Oct 21, 2008
9,703
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Personally, I think the hope with a la carte was that it was somehow going to provide the consumer with more choices and lower costs.

The reality is that it never works. I don't think the TV industry was considered here. In that case, if they went to an a la carte model, the 25 or so TV channels that are the most popular would cost an arm and a leg, and the "other" channels would cost pennies. The end result is that the consumer would pay about the same or more and end up with less. Many channels would not exist under the a la carte model. The dirty little secret in the cable industry is that most of the channels on your lineup are there either because the provider pays your cable/satellite company for carriage, or they are jammed down everyone's throats as a condition of carriage of some other channel (like ESPN or CNN, etc.) that most people actually want.


The a la carte WOULD work, or at least seem that way, if Howard's channels went down to $5 or $6 a month. Hell, throw in the Virus and three or four music channels selected by each subscriber (not Faction) and make it $9 a month. Include 32K internet listening without a 90 minute timeout, and most people would be happy.

I think a lot of people were thinking they could pay for Howard's channels (or O&A), the three or four music channels they listen to, and only the sports they like and have that be it.

When things did not turn out that way, people were pissed.
 

v1ru5

Well-Known Member
Oct 24, 2008
1,690
67
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Harrisburg PA.
The a la carte WOULD work, or at least seem that way, if Howard's channels went down to $5 or $6 a month. Hell, throw in the Virus and three or four music channels selected by each subscriber (not Faction) and make it $9 a month. Include 32K internet listening without a 90 minute timeout, and most people would be happy.

I think a lot of people were thinking they could pay for Howard's channels (or O&A), the three or four music channels they listen to, and only the sports they like and have that be it.

When things did not turn out that way, people were pissed.
BOS is only $3.00, vs-versa. (I think).
 

shabadoo25

Member
Oct 12, 2008
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This is all a lose/lose scenario for SXM. Any scenario that they promoted would aggravate someone who wanted different choices.
 

kryptonite

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Oct 21, 2008
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This is all a lose/lose scenario for SXM. Any scenario that they promoted would aggravate someone who wanted different choices.

Ding! We have a winner!


And DAB, not that it matters, but I think the BOS is really $4.04, but i'm sure those who ask the right question can get some sort of discounted promotion.