XM And Sirius Dancing As Fast As They Can


Satellite-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]