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Sirius' Karmazin - would like to buy XM Satellite


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#1 of 13 OFFLINE   Ronald Epstein

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Posted June 26 2006 - 04:18 AM

Interesting article from Reuters today

Click Here

You know, now more than ever I'd be happy to see Sirius buy XM
or vise-versa. The plus side is that it would improve stocks on both
sides that have gone down the crapper. Also, increased bandwidth
would also (hopefully) mean a bump in sound quality.

On the negative front, I'm no fan of Sirius playlists. XM listeners
will be greatly disappointed by Sirius repetition while (to be fair)
those listeners would balk at XM's eclectic programming. Also,
with no competition, who knows how much the service would cost.

Just an interesting article to read this morning!

 

Ronald J Epstein
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#2 of 13 OFFLINE   TheLongshot

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Posted June 26 2006 - 05:01 AM

Couldn't read the article, so I have to respond in a more general fashion.
Really, I'm amazed you are saying that, considering your feelings about Sirius. Personally, I could give a rat's ass about stock prices or a bump in sound quality, if all that is going to happen is that the content is going to get watered down. To me, content is everything. If such a thing happened (Sirius buying XM), I might as well give up on satellite radio. The promise of everyone's genres being represented would go away, and we'd have to deal with the LCD attitiude of Sirius. It would be no better than terrestrial radio. If it was the other way around, I'd be happier, since then you could have a combination of both without watering down content. I have no belief that Sirius would do likewise. In any case, I think they are better off seperate anyways. Jason

#3 of 13 OFFLINE   Ronald Epstein

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Posted June 26 2006 - 09:11 AM

Jason, You know how much I hate Sirius. I would rather not see them buy XM, but I think there are many advantages. My reasons are partly selfish. I lost a good deal of money on XM stock over the past year. I have seen the most promising satellite company go from riches to rags. Somehow, XM management completely lost control of a company that was the golden child of Wall Street 18 months ago. XM is only a shell of what it once was. Sound quality has deteriorated, music is not quite as eclectic as it used to be, and the company has not only been the subject of multiple lawsuits, but they had to settle on a deal with Clear Channel to carry commercials on a small handful of their music channels. Furthermore, because XM has no concept of their talent, they have done everything they can not to fulfill the promises of promoting Opie and Anthony. The stories these boys are telling of late about their employer is rather sad. XM has also backed away from advertising. I see far more advertising for Sirius, and that advertising is run frequently. In my opinion, XM has gotten themselves into a hole and are struggling to get out. Not to say Sirius looks any better in my eyes by any means. You are absolutely correct that I would never be able to succumb to their watered-down playlists. I'll give up on satellite radio before I ever become a Sirius subscriber under present conditions. You'll be surprised that for once, I will give credit to Sirius. Stern was a major financial gamble that payed off. They brought aboard a shitload of subscribers and for the very first time, there is the possibility that they could overtake XM in subscriber numbers in the next year or so. That company isn't completely out of hot water either as I'm not certain they have made all their money back on the Stern deal. Sirius, like XM, still is not making a profit because of all the money that was put out front for talent. Read the newspapers lately and you'll realize satellite radio is no longer the hot product it was a few years back. With iPods that allow you to download and play music catered to your taste and the advent of HD-Radio, there are many alternatives out there over paying $12+ per month for satellite radio. Polls still show that many more people would rather have FREE radio than pay for it. I still believe in satellite radio. I think most all of us that subscribe to it do as well. However, we see the industry declining right before our eyes. We have two satellite companies who are still struggling to make a proifit. Stocks have plummeted. I would hope that if both companies were able to run more powerfully as one, it would be a "win-win" situation for everyone. Unfortunately, there will be a sect very unhappy with the music programming. Perhaps I have this all wrong. Perhaps I don't see the bigger picture. I look forward to hearing your opinions.

 

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#4 of 13 OFFLINE   dailW

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Posted June 26 2006 - 03:02 PM

ron i agree with you on some things that you stated. i agree with you on xm's advertising.since 2002 i had gone from sirius to xm to see which one suited my needs then stern said he was going to sirius and i said SOLD! but for a while now i have been listening to XM on AOL and i like what i 've been hearing. the other day cinemagic played music from the black hole where in this country would you hear that on free radio.anyway over the last couple of years going from site to site i felt that if XM wanted O&A why aren't they on the front page of the site.they should have promoted them more.i have never been a big stock fan. i think people put too much blind faith in it . maybe it was because i was a freshman in high school when wall street came out and seeing the flick got me a little jaded.i cant really tell the difference in playlist of the two sats.to me just hearing the long version of tonight , tonight , tonight by genesis on the radio is enough for me.i am one of those people who cant stand ipods i have a playlist of music on my computer and i dont listen to it as much as i do sirius or xm on aol i feel sat radio will last they just cant go mainstream .sirius is great radio and so is XM.i hope they dont merge.

#5 of 13 OFFLINE   Blu

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Posted June 26 2006 - 03:06 PM

IF the content of both companies would be unaffected I probably wouldn't be that upset. I do believe that competition is what makes both companies better though and if there was none then who knows how bad the service would get or how much it would cost. When I was a dual subscriber I did like O&A better than Stern. I suppose that if one company bought the other then for us sports fans you couldn't ask for much more than to have every single sport on one service. That would be a big plus but at what cost?

#6 of 13 OFFLINE   Bill Mc

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Posted June 26 2006 - 03:20 PM

I would be all for it. As a Sirius subscriber, I agree with Ron as far as their playlist being watered down. I find myself having to flip around more often then I would listening to XM. ( I have Direct TV and listen to XM at home) I do love Sirius. I think by having Stern, the NFL and other nitch channels, Sirius blows XM out of the water as far as content. Music wise, XM has the edge in my opinion. Match the two together? I would be in heaven.

#7 of 13 OFFLINE   TheLongshot

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Posted June 27 2006 - 04:25 AM

Hey Ron, I agree with you on XM's management problems. They've made a bunch of decisions which, colectively, have hurt them. I also agree that their marketing sucks, from the standpoint that they miss opportunities left and right to put their product. Where is their visibility with MLB? (Granted, you can say the same about Sirius and the NFL.) How about actually marketing to the genres you broadcast. Concerts? Festivals? (I've been told that XM's presence at Bonnaroo was rather minimal.) As you say, O&A doesn't get much of a push from XM. Yeah, Sirius has been more daring, but that's because they had to be. They were way in XM's dust and needed to do something to get attention. Stern was big for them. Course, in the end, it hasn't changed their stock price all that much. (It is only slightly more than when I bought it about 3 years ago.) In the end, I expect that Sirius will take the lead. Personally, tho, I don't think that's a problem for XM, if they play things right. XM should work the niches, build up some grass roots for their formatting ideas. Build a devoted fan base. The programming people seem to have the right ideas, but their marketing people have shoes of concrete when it comes to this stuff. But, a merger with Sirius won't solve these problems, and I really fear that such a thing will kill what made XM so great. If such a thing happens, then satellite radio will be considered another promising format that got killed by mainstreaming. Jason

#8 of 13 OFFLINE   Bob_L

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Posted June 27 2006 - 09:02 AM

What ultimately happens in all of these purchases is that the purchasing company eventually remakes the acquisition in its own image. So, if Sirius purchased XM, that would ultimately be the end of the XM-style playlist.

#9 of 13 OFFLINE   TheLongshot

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Posted June 27 2006 - 09:21 AM

Course, the Fool thinks that if one of these guys is going to be bought out, it isn't going to be by the other.

http://www.fool.com/...mft06062707.htm

Jason

#10 of 13 OFFLINE   cathy_valliere

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Posted June 27 2006 - 05:21 PM

It looks like XM hasn't been working on their crisis communication plans very much when it comes to management. If they don't do something to enhance their image to the public, the public may be more apt to subscribing with Sirius, even with the water-down playlists. I've seen more Sirius commercials than XM. In this case, negative PR isn't good PR. At this point, I do not subscribe to either system. I have been reviewing both, by researching what is being said in the media. I also enjoy reading what everyone here has to say about satellite radio. I personally have an iPod, both for my college work and personal listening. So, at this time, my opinion is neutral for both. I want to see where the business is going. Cathy 8^ )

#11 of 13 OFFLINE   Ronald Epstein

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Posted June 27 2006 - 09:32 PM

Cathy, Good for you! As much as I am an advocate for satellite radio I think that right now, until both these companies get their act together as far as improving sound quality, playlists and making a profit -- I wouldn't push the format on anyone who enjoys their iPod.

 

Ronald J Epstein
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#12 of 13 OFFLINE   Jeff_CusBlues

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Posted July 01 2006 - 12:05 AM

Thanks for the Fool article Jason. I used to read the Fool quite a bit a few years ago and always found them an interesting and refreshing read concerning stock investing. I was thinking the same thing they reported and was about to post it, but was beaten to the punch. It sounds to me like XM or Sirius may both be a decent risk right now. It sounds like their stock is probably right where it should be as far as valuation and has a chance to move up if either starts making a profit or is bought by a bigger company. I wouldn't sink a lot of money in one or the other, but maybe a small portfolio percentage On the content side, I am an XM subscriber so from a listening standpoint, I would not like to see Sirius influence. I listen to many channels including music, news, comedy, baseball, etc. My wife listens to completely different channels than I do and my kids like even different ones. None of us would be happy with Sirius offerings. But, as Mr. Karamazin said, the gov't won't let it happen anyway.

#13 of 13 OFFLINE   William F

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Posted July 07 2006 - 04:37 PM

I think Sirius blows away XM. They take more chances and thier content is much better. XM's claim to fame are those losers O@A, and maybe a tired OPRAH. O@A even sold out to do a clean act on Howards old station----KROCK. LOSERS! Had XM,glad I don't know.




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