Sirius: Lower Price Plan With XM Buy

Sirius Satellite Radio Incorporated has announced that its customers would get the option to pay below the current $12.95 per month subscription fee for just the channels they want, if the company's plan to buy XM Satellite Radio Holdings Incorporated goes through. The Sirius filing said the deal would generate cost savings that could allow the company to offer "à la carte" programming. Combined, Sirius and XM currently offer more than 300 channels of programming, although many are identical or very similar. Sirius also said the combination would increase the diversity of programming by eliminating redundancy that would free channel space for additional channels. "Customers may elect to receive fewer channels at a monthly price lower than $12.95; substantially similar programming at the existing $12.95 price; or more channels, including some of the 'best of both' networks, at a modest premium to the cost of one service," Sirius said in the Securities and Exchange Commission document.

Sirius CEO Mel Karmazin appeared at a Senate subcommittee hearing to face questions regarding competition, if Sirius were to buy XM. During the hearing, Senator Herb Kohl, questioned Karmazin's stance that the combined company would face competition from terrestrial radio, MP3 players and Internet radio. Kohl also voiced concern that the combined company would raise prices in the future, particularly if it signed exclusive contracts with sports leagues or popular entertainment providers. Karmazin said he was open to regulatory oversight of price increases as a condition of the merger. Karmazin also told the panel that subscribers would be able to block programming they find offensive if the government approves the deal.

News source: Physorg

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25 Comments

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I'm still skeptical that the deal will even go through. I love my XM and listen to several of the channels. If there is a merger, I would keep my plan as is. I wish I could get the NFL, but I can always watch that on TV or listen to my local broadcast.

I can guarantee you they will raise prices, even if they give lower prices at first. With no competition, there is no incentive to lower prices.

TC17 said,
I can guarantee you they will raise prices, even if they give lower prices at first. With no competition, there is no incentive to lower prices.

There is competition. Free terrestrial radio. They have to stay competitive in order to take listeners away from a free medium to a pay-medium.

entropyx said,

There is competition. Free terrestrial radio. They have to stay competitive in order to take listeners away from a free medium to a pay-medium.


Sort of like how so many people have rabbit-ears on their TVs nowadays? How much is your cable bill a month? Mine's definitely not cheap. Do you really think terrestrial TV signals are any competition to cable?

8-n-1 said,


Sort of like how so many people have rabbit-ears on their TVs nowadays? How much is your cable bill a month? Mine's definitely not cheap. Do you really think terrestrial TV signals are any competition to cable?

They were at first... you think cable came out on the scene and blew away regular broadcasting? No. It took time for a pay-medium to conquer a free medium. Just like the Sirius satellite medium will conquer the free (terrestrial) medium.

For me sports channels would be the first one I'd say goodbye to, the probably the Spiritual ones..

I'd keep Rock, Metal, Pop, Alternative, etc

thagame said,
So do i get more channels on my sirius or do i have an option to pay more and get both networks

I have a feeling you'd have to pay an extra 5.00 a month for the full XM content, just like XM users would pay 5.00 extra a month for full Sirius. They've already said though that the merger wouldn't make you pay two subscription fees for each service and would be less than that combined rate.

I'll be the first one to sign up for the à la carte programming. I only listen to about 20 of the channels on XM.
I'm an "old fart" (47), so the channels I listen to are more on the order of 40's, 50's, 60's, 70's, 80's, country,
blues, jazz, news & talk. I don't care for the rap, new age, etc.... having a lower price to pick the channels I
want is PERFECT. Now, if we can just get the CABLE/SATELLITE channels to do the same thing LOL.

What I'm curious about is, how much of a discount are people expecting? I mean, it costs $13 a month for ALL the channels... I can see you opting for 20 and only getting a couple of bucks off. Sirius would be making HUGE profit then... no wonder they want to do this. You're actually paying more for less.

This reminds too much of cable companys, how they charge people with a sports pack, or an entertainment pack, or an music pack, etc... If this happens I would probably get the sports pack which hopefully will include the NFL and college games (XM has college games, Sirus as stated above has NFL games) and also I would get ESPN Radio.

Scutley said,
This reminds too much of cable companys, how they charge people with a sports pack, or an entertainment pack, or an music pack, etc... If this happens I would probably get the sports pack which hopefully will include the NFL and college games (XM has college games, Sirus as stated above has NFL games) and also I would get ESPN Radio.

No. They're offering content and channels as an "a la carte" selection. You pay for the channels you want, individually. Cable doesn't want to offer this because no one wants 100+ channels when they only watch 15.

entropyx said,
No. They're offering content and channels as an "a la carte" selection. You pay for the channels you want, individually. Cable doesn't want to offer this because no one wants 100+ channels when they only watch 15.

And actually a la carte with cable channels would hurt your choices, because basically if you liked a channel that wasn't in the majority, it would be dropped by the cable company because it wouldn't be cost-effective for them to carry it. As it stands now, they have to carry the "less popular" channels, which is good for choice!

What is this Sirius & XM? Is it some sort of satellite radio? We don't have any such thing here in England, only DAB Digital radio or old school analogue.

You would think that the first 3 words "Sirius Satellite Radio" and the banner image, would be a dead give away :cheeky:

Sirius and XM are rival satelite radio companies. I belive that XM was the first company and sirius came after.

This is going to be interesting to watch unfold, I love my Sirius no question... I've not seen much with XM that interests me... I hope my Sirius services don't suffer...

Ficman said,
This is going to be interesting to watch unfold, I love my Sirius no question... I've not seen much with XM that interests me... I hope my Sirius services don't suffer...
here here! sports package and octane and lithium and im set!

Ficman said,

Howard too... :)

Howard is a huge reason why they've grown. I love Howard 100 & Howard 101. He's the king of all media, and blows all others out of the water. Howard, Bubba, and Ferrall for the win.

SIRIUS is buying XM? I would have thought it was the other way around. Anyway, I use SIRIUS to listen to nfl games. Id love to just by the sports pack for less.

-d

dugbug said,
SIRIUS is buying XM? I would have thought it was the other way around. Anyway, I use SIRIUS to listen to nfl games. Id love to just by the sports pack for less.

-d

Sirius is more powerful than XM. XM has been floating around 7.5 million listeners the last year and Sirius has shot up from 600,000 listeners in 2004 to 6.5 million listeners in 2006 and have higher projections for the end of 2007. XM is stagnant, and doesn't offer much in comparison to Sirius, so it's a smart move to let Sirius ingest them and become part of a "winning team".