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Finally - XM/Sirius Approved
2008-06-16 07:51
by Will Carroll

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.

2008-06-16 08:57:12
1.   Tuxcat
Actually, not yet. The FCC Chairman has said he'll back the merger, with certain conditions, but the whole five-member commission has to vote on it before the approval will be final.

They may do that this week, or they may not -- and no one is predicting how the vote will go. Commissioner Copps will be against the merger, probably, and Tate will probably be for it, but Adelstein and McDowell are wild cards on this vote. So we're not quite there yet.

2008-06-16 09:16:18
2.   Scott Long
I sure hope it goes through, as I'm getting killed on my 27 dollar a month bills for the 2. It is worth it, considering how much I'm in the car, but I would love to pay 10 bucks less per month.

Sirius has superior programming at this point, except for baseball and Ron and Fez. Their comedy channel and XM cafe channels have their merits, as well.

2008-06-16 09:55:43
3.   Smed
As long as Fred survives, so when I rent a car I can get my 80's fix, I'll be happy!
2008-06-16 15:53:18
4.   ibleedbloo
Here is a quick tip to save a few bucks. Call XM and tell them you want to cancel and they will offer you $77/year to stay. This is my second year paying $77/year for XM.

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