In re: XM merger, Siriusly…

The rumors had been flying for months that XM and rival Sirius would merge, and word is now out that such a deal is now underway.  Of course this is very far from a sure thing as there is FCC approval needed, as well as antitrust clearance.

Both XM and Sirius are aligned with certain automakers, content providers so in once sense there isn’t tons of overlap, meaning that content wise consumers could benefit from having access to the full slate of programming choices (For example Sirius has the NFL, XM has MLB)  Both charge the same fee for service of $12.95 a month and combined they would have about 14 million subscribers, in what is being called a merger of equals.

Questions abound whether they will get approval on antitrust and the FCC fronts, but also there is the question of why?  that is why merge.  (See Washington Post.com XM-Sirius Merger: Why?)  There is of course huge possible savings as they are essentially operating two operations that could effectively be reduced (you wouldn’t need two 80’s channels for example).  On the comments seems  like a lot of people were pretty happy with the content they had from just one of the services however and they worry about the prices rising when the direct competition is lost.  Of course satellite radio (as they will argue) has plenty of competitors, including terrestrial radio, ipods, podcasts, internet radio and anything you can possibly think of listening to.

So only time will tell if this goes through, but one would hope they got a pretty good feeling that they would be able to proceed to bother going through with this.  On a side note I just got Sirius radio a little over a week ago, so far I’ve been a pretty huge fan, listening to music without commericals, and having music that would never be played on traditional radio has got me hooked.

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5 Responses

  1. I don’t know which title is better:

    “XM Merger, Siriusly”

    or

    “School Uniforms: Yay or Yuck”

  2. Part of the unwritten In re: policy is to invest heavily in title creation, we have a whole department of monkeys churning this shit out, just for you Ishtar.

  3. I’m glad you take your readers’ needs so seriously. It is for reasons like these why In Re: is a fixture in my history bar.

  4. As I understand it, the devices sold by XM and Sirius are incompatible. If that’s true, current customers w/ devices won’t benefit at all from the merger until they get a new device that’s compatible.

  5. Thats true, the devices are incompatible, however the CEO of Sirius Mel Karmazin stated that if the merger went through they would bring out devices capable of handling both services. That said despite being one company they planned to keep the two services separate, but with probably an additional tier of service that included both, or possibly some a la carte mix of the two for those upgrading to the new dual satellite equipment.

    Even without equipment changes, another angle they could take would be to put content for one onto the other satellite service.

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