Print 15 comment(s) - last by wolrah.. on Jul 25 at 11:11 PM

New pricing structure allows customers to pick only the stations they want

XM and Sirius have announced proposed price cuts and new plans for post merger services, despite the fact that a merger between XM and Sirius is far from a done deal. A XM/Sirius FCC filing (PDF) reveals the company has a new pricing structure with new packages starting at $6.99 and going up to $16.99 per month.

This programming is a la carte, offering subscribers more service options. At $6.99 per month, customers can choose 50 channels and add additional channels for $.25 per month. Under the $6.99 package, the subscriber would have to choose all 50 channels from either XM or Sirius. The company does not allow mixing and matching between both services with the $6.99 package. This represents a 46% decrease in the price of the current lowest cost subscription rate from either provider.

Another a la carte option gives subscribers 100 channels and the option to pick from the best programming of both XM and Sirius for $14.99 per month. Other new service packages include two family friendly packs that block adult themed programs like Howard Stern and Playboy.

Customers will also be able to get all programming from both XM and Sirius on their current XM or Sirius hardware post merger for $16.99 per month. The proposed a la carte programming would be available within one year of the merger.

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Can current receivers pick up both frequencies?
By 91TTZ on 7/24/2007 9:48:12 PM , Rating: 3
Currently, Sirius receivers pick up the frequencies that Sirius uses (2320.00MHz - 2332.50MHz) and XM receivers pick up the frequencies that XM uses (2332.50MHz - 2345.00MHz).

The article says that under the new proposal, you can choose to get all of the channels that both Sirius and XM offer. Obviously they can't broadcast duplicates of each other's channels on both Sirius and XM's frequencies, since they're already bandwidth limited with their current channel lineups.

Is there any technical limitation preventing current receivers from picking up both Sirius and XM signals?

By mikecel79 on 7/25/2007 8:46:12 AM , Rating: 2
It's been stated that new radios would be needed to pickup stations from both services. I believe it's in the document that DT has linked to.

By mikecel79 on 7/25/2007 9:10:39 AM , Rating: 2
Here's a link to a Reuters article reporting that new radios would be needed for the combined plans.

By Wolfgang Hansson on 7/25/2007 9:29:03 AM , Rating: 2
Here's a link to a Reuters article reporting that new radios would be needed for the combined plans.

The PDF linked in the story clearly says no new radios will be needed.

Best of Both Packages Will Be Available on Existing Radios

Today, if consumers want the best of both XM and SIRIUS, they need two satellite radios and two separate monthly subscriptions totaling $25.90. Following the merger of SIRIUS and XM, consumers will be able to obtain the best of both SIRIUS and XM, on any of today’s satellite radio devices with one monthly subscription.

By mikecel79 on 7/25/2007 10:24:04 AM , Rating: 2
Further down in the document under the table explaining the differences is this note.
*Available only for subscribers using next generation receivers who select channels via the Internet.

It looks like there is some discrepency in their document. You'll also notice they word the document very carefully.
XM customers would continue to receive their existing XM service, and be able to obtain certain SIRIUS programming. SIRIUS customers would continue to receive their existing SIRIUS service, and be able to obtain certain XM programming.

Notice they say certain, not all. They may be rebroadcasting channels from the other service on new channels. I really hope that can do it without replacing current radios but there is no clear cut answer to this question. I really like the idea of a $6.99 a month plan and I'm hoping this merger does go through.

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