It was almost destined to happen when it was first rumored last year. And with the 3-2 squeaker of an approval for the XM-Sirius merger, what happens next? And more importantly to some, when can XM people get Howard Stern on their boxes? Well, Frank Ahrens of the Washington Post offers his observations of the possible changes to subscribers on both sides of the satellite radio. Most of the article is pure conjecture at this time but here's something that I will keep my eye on:
The companies have said that they would freeze the $12.95-per-month rate for three years after the merger. In the letter to the FCC, XM and Sirius said they will create a number of programming options ranging from $6.99 to $16.99 per month.
· For $6.99 per month, subscribers can choose either 50 Sirius or 50 XM channels and add additional channels for 25 cents each per month.
· For $14.99 per month, subscribers get 100 channels: XM subscribers get mostly XM channels and can pick Sirius channels to round out to 100. A similar deal will be available for Sirius subscribers.
· For $16.99 per month, XM subscribers get all of their current XM channels and can add an undetermined number of Sirius channels. Vice-versa for Sirius subscribers.
· For $9.99 per month, subscribers can get a "mostly music" or "mostly news, sports and talk" package of channels.
· For $11.95 per month, subscribers can get a "family-friendly" package of existing channels from either XM or Sirius, which would block out such programming as Howard Stern and rap and rock channels with profanity-laced songs.
· For $14.99 per month, subscribers can get a "family friendly" package of channels from both services.
Yes, but you'll probably have to pay extra. In the letter to the FCC, the companies said that such "premium" programming will cost more. Stern is not identified in the letter, but he is Sirius's biggest draw.
If this pricing matrix is close to correct, count me as the first in line to buy the new satrad receiver for both house and card. Sphere: Related Content