• Feb 19th 2007 at 2:58PM
  • 31

Both XM and Sirius have been dropping hints since last summer that the two could merge into one giant satellite radio provider with a subscriber base of 12 million. It appears after a marathon negotiation session last weekend, the two are finally ready to make it offiicial sometime today and start the long process of gaining SEC approval. Though approval will likely take over a year, we doubt the feds will break this one up. While XM and Sirius technically compete with each other for subscribers, satellite radio as an industry is in a fight for its life with other forms of audio distribution, like regular old terrestrial radio, internet radio and the 800 lb. gorilla, Apple's iPod. These two company's have a better shot at surviving by jumping in the same bunker.

Of course, auto interiors are the primary front in this war, which makes the merger interesting to us. Car owners subscribed to one of the two services will be the big winners, as Howard Stern and Oprah will now occupy the same dial. You'll be able to get all your satellite radio sports coverage with one subscription now, as well.

Trying to meld two established brands into one, however, is not an easy thing to do. Just ask DaimlerChrysler if you need a reference. We chuckled out loud while reading the linked article from the New York Post when the author describes the deal as a "merger of equals". Sure...

[Source: The New York Post]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Years Ago
      A bad move for consumers. Only one service means they can charge what they want. If you want satellite radio where do you go?
      • 8 Years Ago
      All i know is while i'm up at school i'd be without anything to listen to without satellite radio since the area i'm in has 0 radio stations i listen, plus i travel a lot (usually long distances) so having satellite is a boon there.

      and 12 bucks a month sounds like a lot, but to somebody that uses the service, its not. I mean shoot... i pay more than that for HBO/Starz/Showtime on cable and i dont even watch those channels half the time *shrug*

      • 8 Years Ago
      They had the official announcement a few hours ago and say they are committed to commercial free music. And will do an a la carte type subscription plan. I'd rather have that for my CABLE but oh well.
      • 8 Years Ago
      So does this mean my current equipment will stop working?
      • 8 Years Ago
      Same for me: VERY happy Sirius subscriber.

      // Will never listen to anything related to ClearChannel again.
      • 8 Years Ago
      "Howard Stern and Oprah"

      Wouldn't an Opie & Anthony vs. Howard Stern comparison be more appropriate?
      • 8 Years Ago
      As often happens in this type of merger, there will be "consequences". Service and billing will be the first to suffer, followed by programming. What do you bet that within a year, assuming this gets appproval and survives, commercials will enter the "picture'. Economies of scale will be trottrd as a reason to go ahead with the merger...but they will never really be seen.

      Just my $0.02 based on what has happened in "regular" radio or cable tv.
      • 8 Years Ago
      "isn't a very good product", are you nuts?
      It will be good news to take the non-compatible hardware issue out of the equation and just be able to focus on the huge amount of diverse content available.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I pretty much agree with what has said before. I hope that any hardware changes are minimal and if they would support both the XM and the Siruis players, all would be for the better.

      Either way the big thing I worry about here is stations on either competing directly now. Most importantly to myself at least, will they host both Howard and Opie and Anthony, or drop one or the other? Personally I don't care to listen to the big H, but I wouldn't care if he was on the same service.

      As for sound quality, I've always found it to be just as good if not better than FM for the XM service at least. Obviously not at CD level, but a nice mix in between. Granted, it does help to have a system that is directly wired in and not one of those cheap FM transmitters.
      • 8 Years Ago
      yes the technology is completely different. I highly doubt that Sirius is just going to destroy their 3 satellites and rely on XM's two. highly doubtful. What will probably happen is they'll just combine billing and that, keep everything else the same.

      And yes I could see commercials creeping into Sirius now. What a joke. Is that all there is? Weaklings who don't want to actually compete, give in and merge? What's next? Someday there will only be ONE big congolmerate who controls everything?
      • 8 Years Ago
      as a sirius subscriber, i'll have to pay the price. i'm sure they'll make everyone buy new equipment that has sirius (being the smaller of the two companies).

      i'll also have to listen to commercials on the music stations, where as i didn't have to with sirius. everyone knows xm's programming is terrible compared to sirius'.

      xm even has their own music in between songs... who the hell wants to hear that? one time listening to it on tv (through direct tv, i believe), the rap station was on and i was listening to a guy rap about xm. you tell me if that's not the most moronic thing you could possibly hear on a service you're paying $13 a month for.

      as soon as sirius becomes tainted with xm's crap, that is when i will pull the plug on it and go back to burning cds to play in my vehicle.
      • 8 Years Ago
      XM Radio Rocks.

      When my wife first got it, I was a bit disturbed, the thought of paying for radio was a bit too much for my old ways.. but after listening to it for a couple of hours... I realized it is NOT RADIO.. it is MUSIC, and I Like the SONGS!!! -- (sorry Barry Manilow).

      On top of XM's incredible choice of music.... I can tune in to their website and listen to it all day long while I do things on my computer!

      I have been pondering getting Sirius for my car, but I don't drive that much anymore, so that is why I have of yet, but now with this merger in the works, I am psyched.

      Listen up Tire Kickers === IT WILL NOT BE LONG BEFORE XM / SIRIUS starts delivering VIDEO FEEDS along with the signals of music, talk radio, and soon TV channels!!!!

      If anything, this merger is going to wind up being a danger to Cable TV and DirecTV in the next few years.
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