Sirius and XM will remain separate services for next 15 years

jwt873

Member
Oct 12, 2008
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Mel FINALLY issued a release to clear up subscriber confusion....

Hear, hear! Sirius XM Radio finally explains changes to customers - BostonHerald.com

Since the merger of the two satellite radio companies, Sirius and XM, , subscribers have been offered new hardware options, expanded programming choices and numerous pricing options. All of which is causing more than a little confusion.

Sirius and XM are now one company, but not the same. Listeners can get programming from both services at no extra charge - except for when they have to pay for it. And you might need a new radio to take advantage of different pricing structures. Or maybe not.

Got it?

With changes on nearly every front since the merger was finalized in late July, Sirius XM Radio, as it’s now called, has slowly reached out to customers to explain what’s been going on.

Pricing: In October, the company announced a “best of†programming option and a la carte pricing. Sirius subscribers can pay an extra $4.04 a month, on top of the $12.95 base, for a “Best of XM†package, including Oprah and Friends, NBA and NHL games, the PGA Tour Network, the Opie and Anthony Show and XM Public Radio; XM subscribers can pay the same for a “Best of Sirius†package that includes NFL broadcasts, two Howard Stern channels, NASCAR, Playboy Radio and Martha Stewart Living Radio.

Or you can save money with new a la carte pricing, which starts at $6.99 a month and allows subscribers to choose 50 channels - but not every Sirius channel and not Howard Stern. And beware: the radio needed for the a la carte subscription, a $130 Starmate 5, is no bargain.

Hardware: Sirius XM CEO Mel Karmazin says both XM and Sirius will stay separate services for the next 15 years. But that doesn’t mean subscribers can’t get it all. The company has announced it will release a new radio in early 2009 that gets every channel offered by both services. How much will it cost? No word yet.

Programming: On Nov. 12, Sirius XM revamped its channel lineup, giving subscribers access to certain shows from both services for no extra charge. Some similar XM and Sirius channels merged, and popular shows from each company became available to all listeners at no extra charge.

But will the expanded number of programming streams - 134 from Sirius, some 170 from XM - attract enough new customers to make satellite radio a financial success? That remains to be seen. Sirius XM had $3.37 billion of debt outstanding as of Sept. 30, according to Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services, which lowered its outlook for the company last week. Analysts cite weak retail and auto sales as factors in slower growth.

But Karmazin remains upbeat about satellite radio’s future. Sirius XM claims it will have 19.1 million subscribers by the end of this year, and expects to add 1.5 million more by the end of 2009.

“I know it is difficult in the economic environment that we’re in, and where our stock price is trading, to be very pleased and proud of our operating performance, but we must,†Karmazin said during a third quarter conference call with Wall Street analysts. “We believe showing double-digit growth to be very impressive, especially if you compare Sirius XM results to other media and enterainment companies.â€
 

jwt873

Member
Oct 12, 2008
112
6
18
Ugh.... Mods.. Can you edit the message title and change 'seperate' to separate'. I caught the typo after I clicked send :)