The FCC finally gave the OK for a merger between XM and Sirius. This is the final hurdle and comes just in time to combine the entities for NFL season. For sports fans, this is big news, but as you should have expected it's going to cost you. XM and Sirius have split up the sports world with MLB, NHL, and some college sports on XM, with the NFL, NASCAR, and the NBA on Sirius. Both have golf, because nothing's more compelling on the radio than golf.
The plan is to create a new tier of programming that allows a subscriber to not only keep their current plan (XM or Sirius) but to add channels from the other. In other words, Sirius can now get MLB and XM can now get the NFL, since the music and other programming is essentially the same. Scott's the only guy I know who has both, so I'll let him break down the differences in another post. MLB is the more valuable property due to the amount of content, but getting all that content (and the necessary channels) over to Sirius receivers is going to be a challenge.
They'll have an interoperable radio within a year and it's at that point we'll start seeing consolidation of channels in order to see the cost savings that Mel Karmazin has been promising to shareholders. I'll have my Inno locked onto XM175 for now, but I have been wanting to hear Peter King's segments. Now I get both ... for $16.99 a month, an extra five spot per.