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Possible XM/Sirius Merger


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#1 of 9 OFFLINE   Todd Henry

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Posted January 26 2005 - 01:28 AM

Rumors are circulating about early merger discussions.

http://money.cnn.com....e_radio_talks/

#2 of 9 OFFLINE   Ronald Epstein

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Posted January 26 2005 - 02:25 AM

This is very promising but yet scary stuff.....

First, a monopoly may not be the best deal here. I could
imagine prices skyrocketing.

Second, could you imagine Sirius people programming this?
My God! That would be absolutely horrible. If XM radio were
reduced to the extremely tight playlists that plague Sirius we
would be in BIG trouble.

What would happen to Sirius and XM stocks? Would it be a
good thing for stockholders or bad? My guess is GOOD since
there would only be one player in town.

Also concerned about Opie & Anthony. They have made it
clear that Howard Stern was a huge crybaby who went to Mel
(Sirius' new CEO) every time the boys talked about him. Gag
orders were put on O&A not to talk about Stern. The fact that
O&A rag on him daily on XM is due to the fact that they no
longer work for the same company nor under Mel's grip.

The best possible scenerio of a merger?

Combining bandwidth may be great if it means giving us
high definition music quality -- something that would put
the Hi-Def FM market out of business.

Ronald J Epstein
Home Theater Forum co-owner

 

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#3 of 9 OFFLINE   Ted Bissell

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Posted January 26 2005 - 04:51 AM

Mel Quashes Sirius-XM Merger Rumor
Jan. 26, 2005

Mel Karmazin characterized a New York Post report of a potential XM-Sirius merger as the “third rumor” he has had to deal with in his first eight weeks as Sirius CEO. “I have not met with the [XM] chair or the CEO, so I have no idea where this has come from,” he said during his firm’s Wednesday morning (1/26) earnings conference call.

Commenting later in the call on a question about potential antitrust restrictions for such a merger, Karmazin said he would never try to predict what the government would or wouldn’t approve, adding that he thought such a merger would be a “difficult deal to get through.”

According to Post writer Tim Arango, the two satellite competitors have been meeting lately to talk about the possibility of a merger but the discussions have not advanced. Among the topics reportedly discussed is how to maneuver antitrust concerns that would arise from what would amount to a monopoly in the fledgling satellite radio business.

To alleviate those concerns, the Post suggests the two rivals’ strategy would be to convince regulators that satellite radio is part of the exploding mobil music market.

Combining XM and Sirius would ease a price war for content, reduce marketing costs and provide other cost efficiencies.

#4 of 9 OFFLINE   MatS

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Posted January 26 2005 - 04:53 AM

this would be a bad thing
don't count on it due to regulatory issues alone
and just to help hopefully squash the 'rumors'



Quote:
"I have not met with the chairman or CEO, so I have no idea where any of this came from," Karmazin said in response to a New York Post story that claimed Sirius and XM have started early merger discussions.


http://news.yahoo.co....atellite_radio

#5 of 9 OFFLINE   Joe McCabe

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Posted January 26 2005 - 07:41 AM

While I'm praying the rumors of a merger aren't true, I wouldn't absolutely count it out, just because Karmazan is denying it.

I'm sure he wouldn't admit to talks, unless there was a deal in place.

#6 of 9 OFFLINE   Ronald Epstein

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Posted January 26 2005 - 08:15 AM

Quote:
I'm sure he wouldn't admit to talks, unless there was a deal in place.

This is what a lot of us on other XM boards
and usenet groups are speculating.

Not saying that the news is true or false, but
a lot of new agencies apparantly latched onto
some news source they thought was reputable.

Ronald J Epstein
Home Theater Forum co-owner

 

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#7 of 9 OFFLINE   WillG

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Posted January 26 2005 - 02:25 PM

I also share some of Ron's fears. If there was a merger, I can't see Mel not staying on as CEO. And then, we get FM like programming. Plus if you a fan of Opie and Anthony, you can look forward to the re-instatement of the Howard Stern gag order (that is if they aren't outright let go whenever their contract runs out. And of course, there is the question of montly rates. We all know how cable companies operate when they are the only game in town. I really hope this does not happen, but it does seem as if there is some weight behind this rumor.
STOP HIM! He's supposed to die!

#8 of 9 OFFLINE   Bryan_O

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Posted January 28 2005 - 11:07 AM

I can't imagine the FCC or FTC would allow this without some sort of price control guarantee or price cap regulation like they do with many of the cable systems, and I see this as a bad thing for both companies.

Even if this could happen let's speculate what would happen to existing radio equipment. I'm guessing that the systems are not "compatible" with each other. So if a merger were to take place would they scrap one of the systems to beef up the other, or simulcast the same programming to each system keeping legacy XM/Sirius radios useful? Can the Satellites even be reprogrammed to broadcast to the other system, or are they equipment specific? To me that's the only way they could make the merger to their benefit- to drastically reduce costs by cutting studios, reduce R&D to only one system, and to kill a couple of sats. Then, would there be a bandwidth issue with music content, other programming, NFL, Baseball, Howard and others that I'm sure there are semi-long term deals with?

My guess is that there have been talks, maybe not Mel and Panero directly, but there still was a meeting. If that's the case I was just trying to figure out the possible ramifications

#9 of 9 OFFLINE   ScottCarr

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Posted January 29 2005 - 10:36 AM

I can see the FCC and the FTC apporving it. This form of media is completely unnecessary due to an existing infrastructure across the country.

If the merger was to occur they would definitiely be sensitive to pricing. Raising the prices too much could very lead to a number of on the fence subscribers to dump the service and opt for an Ipod or similar device connected to their systems.

if they keep it affordable and the portable players are a big success the new company will attract the younger generations. Incorporated into a cell phone profits will be beyond belief.

just my thoughts





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