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Justice Dept. approves XM/Sirius Merger!


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#1 of 12 Robert Crawford

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Posted March 24 2008 - 07:51 AM

Now, it's up to the FCC to make their decision.

XM-Sirius merger approved by DOJ - Mar. 24, 2008

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#2 of 12 Jeff Adkins

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Posted March 24 2008 - 10:49 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Crawford
Now, it's up to the FCC to make their decision.

XM-Sirius merger approved by DOJ - Mar. 24, 2008
I think this is great news......I hope anyway. FCC will approve. I just read they've never overturned a merger that the DOJ has approved.

I'm curious as to how quickly we'll see some programming changes. I also wonder what's going to happen to shows like Opie & Anthony, but I guess we'll find out in due time.

I also read that as part of the agreement they are required to give back some of the bandwidth to Georgetown Partners? I don't even know who that is or what they do, so I'm going to have to do a Google search.

I think this will be good news for consumers. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

#3 of 12 Blu

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Posted March 24 2008 - 11:55 AM

I bet that the merged channel packages don't come online for another six months, minimum.

#4 of 12 Ronald Epstein

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Posted March 24 2008 - 09:08 PM

Mel Karmazin has always touted that the changes would take
a few short months.

I am rather excited about the merger. I think satellite radio
needs that added push.

As for Opie and Anthony, one never knows. Mel dislikes them both,
but they make a lot of money for XM so I can't see Sirius not bringing
them aboard.

My concern is equipment. Initially we were told that all current
radios will be compatible with the merged bandwidth. The article
referenced above seems to indicate otherwise. Upon further investigation
I now read that both services use different chipsets in their radio so
it's not possible to receive both services on current equipment.

It's going to be interesting to see how this is all handled as I don't forsee
XM subscribers going out to buy new radios. There are also millions of
automobiles out there (including '09 vehicles) that only receive XM. I don't
believe that all those customers are suddenly in danger of losing their
programming, though I admit I am unclear as to how Sirius plans to continue
broadcasting to those radios.

Ronald J Epstein
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#5 of 12 Jeff Adkins

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Posted March 25 2008 - 04:05 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ronald Epstein
As for Opie and Anthony, one never knows. Mel dislikes them both,but they make a lot of money for XM so I can't see Sirius not bringing them aboard.
After doing some reading, I think they're probably going to be just fine. Many fans are freaking out over on Wackbag about it but judging from the proposed post-merger channel lineup, it seems they intend to stay.

XM Post-Merger Proposed Lineup

Those channel packages are pretty confusing....at least to me. I'm going to have to study it some more. But from the looks of it, no one is going to be able to get both O&A and Stern without paying a substantial premium.

Quote:
My concern is equipment. Initially we were told that all current
radios will be compatible with the merged bandwidth. The article
referenced above seems to indicate otherwise. Upon further investigation
I now read that both services use different chipsets in their radio so
it's not possible to receive both services on current equipment.

It's going to be interesting to see how this is all handled as I don't forsee
XM subscribers going out to buy new radios. There are also millions of
automobiles out there (including '09 vehicles) that only receive XM. I don't
believe that all those customers are suddenly in danger of losing their
programming, though I admit I am unclear as to how Sirius plans to continue
broadcasting to those radios.
I don't think anyone is in danger of losing their programming. From what I've read, it only affects those who want to add channels from the other service via a la carte. But I could be wrong. There's too many radios out there that won't be replaced to make them obsolete.

Here is the Sirius lineup:

Sirius Post-Merger Proposed Lineup

If anyone finds out any more info, please let us know!

#6 of 12 Michael Harris

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Posted March 26 2008 - 12:40 AM

My BMW is "Sirius" ready but I'm using an XM Direct from Blitzsafe that allows me to use the controls on my head unit as if there were a Sirius unit installed. Pretty neat. Since I got a $50 rebate for the XM tuner portion of the unit, I got in cheap.

As for programming, as long as I can get XM Comedy, XM Classics (because of their on-air personalities), and Cinemagic, I'll be happy with the merger.

I also want to provide the following links for your reading pleasure. Written by someone who does not think the merger is a good idea:

washingtonpost.com


Pearlstein: XM-Sirius Merger - washingtonpost.com

#7 of 12 wally

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Posted March 26 2008 - 02:11 PM

I've owned my '08 Honda, w/XM, about 120 days. That means I've had my actual paid for subscription about 30 days. I read somewhere that the FCC would likely approve the merger, but force the parties to make sure it doesn't "obsolete" any of the current radios. Hope so since it's all a tight little package with my Navi!

#8 of 12 Ronald Epstein

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Posted March 27 2008 - 06:38 AM

My question is this...

What immediate advantage is this merger going to be for us?

Consider the following...


XM radios can't play Sirius. Sirius radios can't play XM.

Too late for car manufacturers to put updated radios in '09 vehicles.

Subscribers aren't going to want to go out and pay for all-new
equipment that supports both.



Will Sirius be able to broadcast both services to each of the
the two broadband frequencies or are XM and SIRIUS
customers only going to be able to receive their subscribed
services?

Ronald J Epstein
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#9 of 12 Jeff Adkins

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Posted March 27 2008 - 08:40 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ronald Epstein
My question is this...

What immediate advantage is this merger going to be for us?

Consider the following...


XM radios can't play Sirius. Sirius radios can't play XM.

Too late for car manufacturers to put updated radios in '09 vehicles.

Subscribers aren't going to want to go out and pay for all-new
equipment that supports both.



Will Sirius be able to broadcast both services to each of the
the two broadband frequencies or are XM and SIRIUS
customers only going to be able to receive their subscribed
services?
Those are great questions. In reality, I don't think it's going to much of anything for most of us at this point unless they change their plans from what they proposed to the DOJ.

Here's an interview with Mel Karmazin that provides some insight, although it is a year old.

Sirius CEO discusses post-XM merger service plans

It looks like the only way to really benefit will be with one of the next-gen radios.

#10 of 12 Joe McCabe

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Posted January 01 2009 - 02:47 PM

Am I alone in thinking that Satellite Radio is already a dinosaur?
There are other, more impressive and FREE ways to get this kind of entertainment now.
Sure things were different when it first hit the scene, but other than the sports packages, or if you're some sort of die-hard Stern or O&A fan, what's the real value of the Satellite offering now?

I wrote this earlier today at my blog and I think it explains my position in much greater detail:

And Anudder Ting....: The Last Days Of Satellite Radio?

Hope linking is allowed...if not, my apologies.

#11 of 12 Ronald Epstein

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Posted January 01 2009 - 09:40 PM

Looking at Sirius stock these days, you would think so.

I'm not particularly happy with the merger. Since Sirius took
over there is an awful amount of DJ banter on the decades channels
and countless promotions (aka commercials) on the other channels.
Playlists are short, and it sounds like I am listening to paid FM radio.

Interesting read, Joe. Thanks for the thoughts and the link. I am
a big O&A fan as well. Booyah!

Ronald J Epstein
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#12 of 12 Bryan X

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Posted January 02 2009 - 11:10 AM

I just renewed my XM account for $77 for 12 months. It's the third year in a row I've gotten that rate. As long as they keep giving it to me for that price, I'll renew. But there's no way I'll pay the full rate of $144 per year. I enjoy XM, but there are limits to what it's worth to me.


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