After a long 16 month undecided decision, the FCC has finally approved the merger between the only two satellite radio giants, Sirius and XM.
Sirius Satellite Radio Inc.’s $3.3 billion buyout of rival XM Satellite Radio Holdings Inc. will mean 18 million-plus subscribers will be able to receive programming from both services. Executives say it will mean huge cost savings that will lead to a first-ever profit for the relatively nascent industry.
Immediatley announced with the merger details, was that subscriber’s of either service will not need to purchase new devices to listen. As a matter of fact, they will have the option to pay-per-option a la carte service. Which means, if you’d like to add a channel that’s not available on your Sirius radio, purchase the XM station.
Being a customer of both services, I’m a huge Opie and Anthony fan, XM Radio. I’ve recently been listening to Howard Stern since I bought my Ford. The big question will be, what will happen to both these Shock Jocks? My bet is, Howard Stern will keep his morning radio show, and Opie and Anthony will go back to where they once ruled the radio waves, afternoon drive. Only time will tell.
The companies voluntarily agreed to a set of conditions, including a three-year price cap and an 8 percent set-aside of “full-time audio channels” for public interest and minority programming. They will also adopt an “open radio” standard that may lead to a greater variety of features in radios and greater competition among manufacturers.
Sirius and XM also have promised to include a limited “a la carte” offering that would be available within three months of the close of the deal and allow listeners to pay only for the channels they want to receive.
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