XM/Sirius have (temporarily?) canceled two punk rock stations, Fungus 53 and Sirius Punk, and are redirecting listeners to a 24-hour station “dedicated to Australian hard rock act AC/DC.” We’ve been told by readers that this is a temporary promotion and happens all the time, to which we ask, wtf? XM/Sirius sometime cancels real programming channels to run paid-for promotions? Do you get a refund on those channels, or what? [Punknews.org] (Thanks to Craig!)

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  1. Jonbo298 says:

    So…basically no dedicated punk anymore then? I thought Satellite Radio was all about “Find the music you love because we have one helluva variety”. Hopefully they don’t start chopping more stations that are useful.

    I’m not big into punk as I’m a hard rock/metal kind of person but it is disappointing nonetheless when a dedicated genre is chopped off the airwaves.

    • agnamus says:

      “We’ve been told by readers that this is a temporary promotion and happens all the time, to which we ask, wtf? XM/Sirius sometime cancels real programming channels to run paid-for promotions? Do you get a refund on those channels, or what?”

      Holy freaking cow. You’re saying that because I pay for programming, they have no right to run promotions on it? I’m gonna have to go talk to Comcast because I’m seeing a lot of ads and infomercials on the cable TV that I’m paying for.

      /Obvious sarcasm

      • chutch says:

        @agnamus: To put this into better perspective, we’re not talking about an infomercial. This would be more like Comcast replacing your favorite channel with an infomercial for the next month or three.

        I don’t have Comcast, but I would hope you would call and complain if they were to ever do this. I assure you, Charter will get my call if this ever happens.

    • cerbie says:

      @Jonbo298: no, satellite radio lets you find music to listen to that sucks less than on stations run by the big FM corps :). While I think XM has done better than Sirius at having a broad range of music, neither go farther than the kiddie pool beyond the mainstream, unless a DJ type is in an odd mood, or it is late (a handful of channels don’t fit this generalization, of course, such as Outlaw).

      Both have done this regularly for years, but it could be annoying, when you like a channel they use for it.

      @arkitect75: they probably don’t, without obvious audible artifacts popping up from sending music out in too low quality (few of channels are great quality, as it is).

      They do it enough though…why can’t they have a promo channel? You get your popular punk, AD/DC gets a channel for a bit, and everybody’s happy (except those that just want to hate on the satellite radio companies).

  2. Diet-Orange-Soda says:

    Yuck.

  3. Boogaloo2 says:

    My husband & I have both written emails to Sirius as this was our favorite channel & we pay for two receivers. At first we got a standard “we’re taking this seriously” email, but then he did get a more personal email saying they are considering our feedback. Supposedly this is only going to be in place until Jan. 15th.

    I also hope they aren’t going to start just randomly dropping stations. Please email Sirius if you’re also upset about this or if any of your fave. stations got dropped.

  4. TVarmy says:

    My (used) car came with a satellite radio tuner. When I heard about the merger, I thought they’d offer a ton of content. Now that I hear they’re willing to cut out entire genres, I probably won’t sign up, especially considering the expense when I already have an iPod and local radio stations I love and can get most everywhere I typically go.

    • sleze69 says:

      Well what do you expect when the stock is worth 10% of what it was when Stern was signed? That’s right, Sirius stock has lost 90% of its value. Because of the FCC “delays” both the company has lost something like $1 billion in value.

      How are they supposed to pay for unpopular channels when it’s a penny stock? As a Sirius stock holder, I am pissed (but learned some hard lessons about the stock market).

      • Applekid ┬──┬ ノ( ã‚œ-゜ノ) says:

        @sleze69: Are you suggesting AC/DC or their handlers are paying to have a station? Considering they’re releasing/released a new album soon/already… hmmm…

      • Islandkiwi says:

        @sleze69:

        Companies don’t operate based on the value of their stock. Aside from the initial sale of stock, they don’t get money from shareholders.

        @kc2idf:
        Not quite, they still operate (and will continue to operate) as two separate entities, because current radios can only pick up XM or Sirius, but not both.

        I think it’s a shame when they boot a radio station like Punk for the temporary programs, and I really do agree that they really need a more diverse sound. My favorite music station was Super Shuffle, which they axed a few months ago. But compared to regular radio it is still (in my eyes) a Godsend, and I’ll attribute the shuffling of stations to growing pains.

  5. Absent minded or just absent says:

    I’ve wrote a letter to XM letting them know that I very much did not enjoy this decision. I haven’t received a response. My hope is that the channels will revert back to punk after the new AC/DC album comes out in October. Is there really enough interest in bands to have a channel dedicated to them?

  6. custommadescare says:

    We actually had the XM receiver just for Fungus. When they canceled the station yesterday, we called to cancel our service (as that was about the only station we listened to).

    When we called, the CSR actually stated that they had over 50 subscribers cancel on them because of this. What they were doing to alleviate it was offer us a 3 month “free trial” to change our minds. We okay’d that to find out that they canceled us anyway.

    So much for trying to retain customers by “expanding” their music offerings!

  7. Zulujines says:

    Maybe the demand for these stations was not that great? Although really, considering how many other genres are available I can’t believe there isn’t a place for punk. If there’s a place for Jimmy Buffett, there’s got to be a place for punk.

    What could possibly be the demand for an all AC/DC station? How many times can a person listen to “Shook Me All Night Long”?

    • El_Fez says:

      @Zulujines:

      What could possibly be the demand for an all AC/DC station? How many times can a person listen to “Shook Me All Night Long”?

      . . . all night long?

  8. No need to worry… They did not cancel the station, rather it is one of their limited engagement special channels. It happens all the time. No need to worry about it!

  9. kidnextdoor says:

    I ended my subscription service with them because of this.

  10. vlv723 says:

    I’m glad I dropped XM/Sirius before they announced their merger. I got an iPhone and been streaming internet radio since. Never looked back.

  11. world-inferno says:

    WTF! They combine companies claiming we’ll have more choices and their first order of business is canning both station’s punk channels? Wow, I may be canceling very soon.

    If they get rid of Hard Attack (Sirius metal station) I’m gone for good. There are way too many (free) options for music and whatnot. I listen to the commercial free NPR, punk, metal and some Howard Stern and I’m quite aware I could be doing it all for free with an iPod and pirate flag… and this is certainly great motivation to do so.

  12. cookmefud says:

    This sucks. I listen to that station on the way to work and home everyday.

    if I want AC/DC, I can just turn on any classic rock FM station.

  13. davere says:

    I was telling people that this was going to happen after the merger went through. And even though they promised that prices won’t go up for 3 years so that the merger would get approved, you know that we’ll all be paying considerably more then.

    I opposed the merger and filed comments against its approval. I figured it would get approved anyway, and of course it did.

    Some of my favorite channels on XM are now on “hiatus” with no real alternatives. It’s a shame.

    • Zulujines says:

      @davere: I hope that’s not true (about prices going up). $13/month is pretty reasonable, considering there’s still commercials on Howard Stern and mindless DJ chatter on the other stations.

      Besides, they repeat almost as many songs as regular radio.

  14. Note: I’ve updated the quicklink to reflect the fact that this may be a temporary promotion and not a permanent content change. I still think it sucks, though, considering how not punk AC/DC is.

  15. kc2idf says:

    So, as a non-subscriber, let me get this straight . . . they now have twice the bandwidth, and half the content? What are they doing with the bandwidth (and if you tell me they’re improving the sound quality, I’ll tell you you’re full of it).

    I think I’ll stick with my cheap-ass non-iPod MP3 player.

  16. Juliekins says:

    We bought a new Honda Accord at the beginning of August and it came with 90 days of XM. I knew the relationship couldn’t last when they devoted a channel to 30 days of Coldplay. For serious. Also, it’s $13/mo. And it fuzzes out if I drive by too many trees, and it sounds tinny and weak compared to my iPod.

    Now I have a stupid XM button on my dash that won’t do anything useful, because I am sure as hell not paying $13 a month for Coldplay that sounds like it’s being played through two tin cans connected by a string.

  17. chutch says:

    Even though Punk is low on my wish list, this annoys me. XM was good while I had it, but I wasn’t that impressed with what I was receiving. I have at times thought about trying it out again. Choices such as this show me why I WILL NOT be going back.

    I own an iPod and a good FM transmitter. I will stick with this. At least I don’t have to worry about my ability to hear what I really want. If my ability to listen to what I’m wanting to goes away, I’ll just buy a CD player with a corded intake and bypass the FM transmitter too. :)

  18. pmcpa2 says:

    This happens, they boot stations off on sunday so they can broadcast football… It will be back!

  19. battra92 says:

    They turned one of the Country Stations off a few months ago to do 24/7 George Strait. I loved it.

    Personally I’d rather hear AC/DC than the punk station in question so I guess for some they just don’t care.

    Just don’t touch my America Right (can’t live without Wall Street Journal in the morning) and especially Old Time Radio.

  20. Trai_Dep says:

    Anyone (or company) that thinks that Punk (Pre- and Post- included) is equivalent to AC/DC is no fan of music. In fact, if they even listen to music (doubtful, and probably only when they’re paid to) they must secretly loathe every second they must “endure”.

  21. duffm4n says:

    I loved this channel, and I’m frankly very disappointed and will certainly not consider Sirius in my next car.

  22. mac-phisto says:

    i almost wrote in about this, but i figured, “meh, who cares? no one listens to punk anymore.” I’M NOT ALONE! i’ve been a funginaut since the day the station started – hands down, it’s the best station on satellite.

    i got in my car to go to work monday & was quite pissed to be greeted with “AC/DC 24 HOURS A DAY! FOR THOSE ABOUT TO ROCK…!” i called in on my way to work to cancel, wrote some emails to lou brutus & complained on the site.

    incidentally, you might be able to get a discount on your service if you call to cancel. first they offered me 3 months at half-price to stay, then 6 months, then 3 months free, then 6 months free.

    i told them to shove it.

  23. cromartie says:

    All of these single channel promotions, at least the ones that replace channels in the standard lineup, are crap.

    Here’s why. Though you have a significant range of choices among genres, nearly every satellite radio listener I know has an anchor channel. The loss of an anchor channel, even temporarily, can piss off enough listeners to make them cancel the service.

    For example, though I love the NFL offerings on Sirius, The Spectrum if my anchor channel. During the multi week John Mellencamp crapfest, I was without my anchor channel (favorite station, whatever your term). Without that anchor, the service is devalued considerably.

    This service, when it replaces an existing channel, is bound to piss the listener off. It baffles me why either service does this. Just squeeze a little bit more bandwidth out of what you have, or hold open a channel or two in reserve. This isn’t rocket science.

    And yes, this is done, essentially, because record companies buy the time in advance of a new album.

    incidentally, you might be able to get a discount on your service if you call to cancel.

    This is true. When I shut off my XM service, they offered three months free for me to stay. It wasn’t worth it.

  24. Canino says:

    I guess I don’t understand why they take an existing channel. XM has channels dedicated to college football that aren’t being used, and if they had just waited 2 weeks until the end of the regular season they could have used any of the umpteen channels dedicated to MLB. Granted it would take a little bit of advertising to inform people, but it’s better than informing them by having them turn on their radio and not hear what they were expecting.

  25. u1itn0w2day says:

    This is another Jim Cramer rant-ask the FCC to approve this merger.Terrestial Free radio is scared.It will better for the subscribers.

    But this is exactly what happens when you have a MONOPOLY-you loose choice.The company won’t care-where are you going to go.THIS is why pay radio is actually afraid of free terrestial radio.

    This a perfect example of why they came up with laws against monopolies.

  26. TangDrinker says:

    Last time I checked, UPOP (29 on XM) was still “temporarily off the air” – it’s been like that all summer. Why couldn’t they have taken that channel? And why can’t they have Special X on all year long? I can get it on Direct TV – but XM only has it on during the Xmas period – Special Xmas.

    XM is a godsend when driving long distances, but it’s starting to get lame.

    • arkitect75 says:

      @TangDrinker: I’ve noticed too that XM 29 has been out most of the summer. I first noticed it when that had the Michael Jackson channel on XM51. I believe that a few other channels were dropped too during this time.
      They also drop them during the xmas holidays to add in the holiday channels XM40-44.
      Do they not have enough bandwidth to accommodate all of these channels?

  27. theblackdog says:

    This is standard from Sirius, they’ll take over a channel and make it into 24/7 all band channel for a month as a promotion of that artist and some new album, project, or tour from that artist. In the four years I have had it, I’ve heard them take over various channels to promote The Grateful Dead, Abba (tie in with the Mamma Mia movie), The Who, The Beatles, and The Rolling Stones just to name a few.

    Typically they also take over one of the easy listening and country channels after Thanksgiving and make them holiday music channels as well.

    Don’t worry punk folks, they’ll restore your channel in a few weeks.

  28. basblplayr says:

    I want Fungus-53 back!
    If that is what happens when the two merge then I’ll change my mind about it.

  29. overnow says:

    It is definitely not a temporary change. I emailed XM to voice my concern over the cancellation and got a reply from the station director Lou Brutus saying that this is permanent and there are no plans to move any of the specialty programming on that channel to other channels.
    Goodbye to variety

  30. axiomatic says:

    I was soooo pissed! If they keep the punk channel canceled I will cancel my account. It was the reason I paid!

  31. LVP says:

    Would they dare do it to Howard 100/101?

  32. xkevin108x says:

    I’m pissed about this. Sirius punk is one of my favorite stations.

  33. ZapBranigan says:

    This is crap. I only listen to the Punk channel occassionally but I always enjoyed it. Several friends of mine are ready to cancel their subscription over this.
    I can understand them taking over a channel for a week, or maybe even a month, but 4 months of AC DC! That’s way too much.
    If they ever pre-empt Hard Attack (Sirius metal), then I’m gone. I need to send them an e-mail.

  34. modofodo says:

    In all fairness The Who channel was replaced by the punk channel which didn’t both me too much as I did like the punk channel when it first started, but every month it seems they slip more and more lame fake corporate punk rock in the playlist. Hell, AC/DC is more punk then half the crap they play on that channel. Bring back The Who channel!

  35. they did this at the beginning of the year with the 24/7 Zeppelin channel. They took one of the latin beats channels off for that. I guess they just pick whatever channel has low listening statistics and wipe it out.

    I remember that XMLM was off air for about 2 years. It took a lot of emailing and complaining, but they brought it back.

    If you like Fungus, make a stink, that way, next time they have to pull a channel for a few months they’ll pull a different one.

  36. jessemoya says:

    Ok, what no one is really saying here is that the Sirius Punk channel PLAYED NO ACTUAL PUNK. Iggy Pop? No. Operation Ivy? No. Sex Pistols? No. It was non-stop emo (Avail, Face to Face, Jimmie Eat World) or – as I like to call it – mush-core “punk” like Avril Lavigne or Blink 182.

    Canceling the channel altogether would have been an improvement, but devoting it to a band with actual talent was an even better idea! I wish it would never go back!

  37. hankrearden says:

    Another reason I won’t renew the XM that came free with my new roadster…

    So let me get this straight: you want me to pay for something that used to be free (sorta), and now that you have successfully duped thousands into subscribing, you want to provide the same antiquated service that was previously provided for free?

    UhhhyeahnothanksXMSirius.

  38. plustax says:

    They just did this to XM80 The Move which is one of the best underground dance stations in America. It reminded me of the good ole days back in Chicago listening to WCRX 88.1 and the old Energy 88.7 (both college run stations).

    What added insult to injury was they replaced the only station for really good House music with 24/7 of Kenny Cheesny. All I am left with is this really bad Euro-dance crap on 81 and 82. I feel for you punk loving folks. We’ll see if they come back, but I’m not holding my breath.

  39. LittleEnosBurdette says:

    Now if we could get XM to stop playing the “Mandatory Metallica” ad’s over and over (alright already – we get it) during O&A and Ron and Fez shows everyday. Almost as bad as the ad’s for the country music channel. Give it a rest already.