XM And Sirius Dancing As Fast As They Can

xmsirius.jpgSatellite-radio companies Sirius and XM, who are hoping to speed their path toward merging, announced yesterday that they’d allow customers to buy their programming a la carte through two plans: the first plan, which would cost $6.99 a month, would allow listeners to subscribe to 50 “nonpremium” (read: music and talk radio) channels, with a 25-cents-per-channel overage fee, while the second plan would cost $14.99 a month and allow users to subscribe to “premium” services (baseball, football, and we’re guessing Howard Stern).

Whether or not this plan will endear Federal Communications Commissioon regulators–who have so far been cool on the idea of the two companies joining forces–to the merger is still unclear; the National Association of Broadcasters, which has been protesting the merger since it was first announced, dismissed the plan as the two companies’ last-ditch effort to “promise anything” in order to make the creation of a monopoly look good in the eyes of government officials. (Something we just thought of: Are there any people out there who want, say, MLB broadcasts and Stern, and thus subscribe to both XM and Sirius?) We just wonder what effect a merger will have on the two companies’ music-programming options, and when the seemingly inevitable consolidation of, say, Left of Center and XMU will begin.

Radio Plan: A Price Shift for Satellite [NYT]

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  • syd

    I spend a lot of time on the road and after i’m done being over-stimulated by my ipod (no not like that) I’ll listen to podcasts or radio or books or whatever. At one point I bought XM to listen to baseball games and hoped the talk radio would be,I don’t know, engaging on any level. But I found i missed NPR and was scanning the terestrial dial for it wherever I was (yeah, kind of wishing there was a cooler way to say that. Yearning for NPR isn’t exactly…whatever, I’m gonna embrace it).

    I remember thinking at that time that I wished there weren’t two options.

    In other news, I’ve heard since then that Sirius music programming is less stiff and e-DJ sounding. That would be a welcome change as well. I just never got around to making the switch and didn’t think the lack of baseball justified it.

  • Sleepyhead

    That’s actually a pretty decent pricing plan. I pay $15 for XM, which is too much, and I listen to about 15 stations max. They’d probably get my $7 instead of the $0 I would convert to eventually.

  • fileundereasylistening

    I have Sirius for Stern, but am a huge MLB fan, but would never subscribe to both. I hope they’re allowed to merge. It’s not like these companies are power houses or anything, from what I understand they’re both kind of struggling. Let the little guys merge “Big Radio”, quit being such douchebags and let me hear my Cubbies.

  • baconfat

    Are there any people out there who want, say, MLB broadcasts and Stern, and thus subscribe to both XM and Sirius?

    I’m not one of them, but YES. They’re out there.

  • Hyman Decent

    Fuck! I re-upped with Sirius for two years just a week or so ago. Cost: $272 or $11.33 per month, and I listen only to the music stations.

  • Maura Johnston

    @baconfat: I figured there might be — I just haven’t met any yet (and I have one friend who spends a *lot* of time in his car and seems a prime candidate for both, although he went with Sirius/Stern)

  • touch the cornballer

    The only thing that keeps me away from satellite radio is I want the NFL (Sirius), Rivals Radio (Sirius) but want the Big Ten (XM), and Baseball (XM). Plus Radio Margaritaville and Stern would be a nice bonus (Sirius)…

    I wouldn’t order both – but 14.99 a month and get everything? I love monopolies!

  • onebrownjeff

    The bigger problem is that we would lose most of the advantages of having both XM & Sirius pretty quickly though. They would not keep two indie channels, or two “coffee House” styled channels, or two “kidstuff”-like channels. Those would quickly be shuttered into one channel per genre – loosing any real upside in the more-is-better music programming argument.

    So for the pure music fan out there, you would still get to fund the revolting likes of Stern, the meaninglessness of Oprah / Martha, or 24/7 Sportscenter MLB?NBA/NFL/NCAA Radio for the rest of the subscribers even if you don’t want to.

    Now if they promised to keep “MOST” of the music channels, promising to actually increase the diversity of their specific airwaves, I’d probably support the merger. AS it is, I know that my reason for subscription will be cast aside and very little (except most likely price somewhere down the road) will change.

  • baconfat

    Sirius is introducing backseat video this fall. It’ll only be kids programming to begin with, though.