Sirius XM May Be Preparing for Bankruptcy

According to the NYT, Sirius XM owes $175 Million by the end of February and it may not be able to pay up. Bankruptcy may very well be in the cards for the Satellite Radio super-organism. The article cites a failure to “to win over many younger listeners” and the general economic downturn.

Sirius XM Prepares for Possible Bankruptcy [NYT]

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  1. Jeremy Wentworth says:

    Might also have something to do with the extra 14 months spent waiting for FCC approval. Of course their actions post merger have done nothing except prompt me to cancel one of my two radios so they are to blame. I hope it will be Chapter 11 and not worse as I do like their service even though it’s been going downhill.

    • Chris Allen says:

      @Jeremy Wentworth: Not to mention the fact that they swore during the anti-trust hearings leading up to their merger that they would not raise rates for what was it, 3 years? So instead, they raised “Fees”. They may see it as a loophole, but consumers aren’t as stupid as they seem to think we are. I wouldn’t buy one of their products now even if it meant I’d have to listen to Howard Stern on normal radio again.

    • hipersons says:

      @Jeremy Wentworth: Dito. Canceled because of the the reduction (!) in stations in certain genres and the introduction of crappy talk radio on popular stations in the morning. I’m paying for music, not to listen to someone talk about crap I don’t care about.

      • ViperBorg says:

        @hipersons: Agreed. Good riddance.

        Maybe this is why they keep emailing me to pay up on the bill? That shouldn’t exist. Because I canceled my service.

        See you in hell, Sirius XM.

        Long live iPhone + Pandora.

      • RedwoodFlyer says:

        @hipersons:

        You forgot to mention that most music channels are now broadcast at 32kbps…1/4th of iTunes, which is no concert hall to begin with!

        Btw, when you mention talk radio…are you referring to Morning Mashup? Not sure if you listen to Opie and Anthony, but the Morning Mashup is everything O&A made fun of during jocktober!

        They have f**ing contests, trivia, guests, etc, it’s pointless. That and the girl made a comment last week that some song “dropped faster than a pair of period panties”… on 20 on 20…which isn’t an xL channel. I’m no conservative prude, but it still shocked me to hear that while driving to the airport with my boss and his little daughter!

        If all that doesn’t say enough, here’s a pic which should speak volumes:

    • Trai_Dep says:

      @Jeremy Wentworth: So, lickity-split fast-track FCC approval would have helped them raise their prices faster, drop decent stations quicker and merge more seamlessly?
      Yay?

    • Bakkster_Man says:

      @Jeremy Wentworth: Sounds like a Catch-22. They declare Chapter 11 because they lost customers. They lost customers because they needed to raise revenue and cut costs. However, if they hadn’t raised fees and dropped stations, they would have declared Chapter 11 anyway.

      I’m not sure there is a way for them to continue to make money, and still keep people happy. Either their costs have increased, or they charged too low a rate to try to entice people to subscribe.

      • thewriteguy says:

        @Bakkster_Man: It’s simpler that that — neither XM or Sirius had enough subscribers, before and after the merge.

        There aren’t enough people interested in paying for digital radio.

  2. battra92 says:

    I hope they don’t go away, though. I’m really liking XM even if it is unnecessary spending.

  3. thebluepill says:

    Someone will buy it and make money off of it.. Sirius got too big for its britches.

    Its a good product if done right and for the right price. I would pay $49 per year for it, but not $15 per month..

    • Saboth says:

      @thebluepill:

      The problem is probably all the stupid contracts with baseball, nascar, shock jocks, etc.

      If they had just stuck to music, their costs would probably be 1/10 lower.

      I tell ya, these sports leagues are going to price themselves right out of a job one of these days.

      • Canino says:

        @Saboth: I don’t know how many subscriptions NASCAR brings in – I can’t imagine that being a money maker. But I do know that I’ll cancel if they quit broadcasting MLB.

      • Dawnrazor says:

        @Saboth: Not only are all the contracts you mention bleeding them dry, I don’t think either company has yet recouped the money spent just setting up the satellite radio infrastructure (they have five satellites between them-goes without saying that this was a HUGE expense).

        I agree 110% that they should have just stuck with music programming-that was the attraction for me. Sadly, they have killed my favorite channels (XM Music Lab, Fine tuning, Beyond Jazz, Fred) and watered-down their playlists on the remaining channels such that they have become almost irrelevant to me (no longer able to “discover” new music the way I once did), and it’s been several weeks since I listened. Finally, is it just me or is the sound quality much worse than it used to be? Neither service was ever anything close to “high-fidelity” but the sound has become unlistenably brittle and harsh over the past year or so to the point that even using an outboard DAC (digital output from Kenwood Sirius receiver into a Bel Canto DAC-2 via TosLink)to “polish the turd” doesn’t help much. I’ve been a suscriber to both services since the “early days” but just feel ambivalent now.

        last.fm FTW!

    • closed_account says:

      @thebluepill: I pay $72 a year. Just wait till they turn it off, call and ask why its off, then tell them you are on a tight budget. I pay $37 every 6 months! ($72 + 2 15min long phone calls a year)

  4. Blb3303 says:

    Wow, They consoladate companies,raise our rates, then go under. Thanks Xm-Not-so sirius.

  5. cwlodarczyk says:

    But these companies have been so well run… I’m completely shocked by this!

    I too hope that they are able to fix their issues – while I don’t care for the way they do business, nor the way they treat their customers, I still use my service extensively.

  6. JustThatGuy3 says:

    Company isn’t going away – the only people who are actually going to be affected by this are the shareholders and the bondholders.

  7. soundreasoning says:

    Shocking. Pay-for satellite radio that is not any better than free radio is going under. We had this at work it had over a hundred channels and still nothing to listen to. Plus it was incredibly repetitive on most stations. I would hear a good majority of songs twice in a six hour period.

    • mbz32190 says:

      @soundreasoning: Agreed. I never subscribed to satellite radio, but I never saw the point. Let’s see….same music I hear on regular radio, in an infinite loop. Maybe i’m weird too, but I like listening to the local DJ’s where I live in the morning and the whole satellite radio thing just makes radio seem generic.

      • battra92 says:

        @mbz32190: I can somewhat agree on the music side but I have yet to find an oldies station ever play Annette Funicello. It’s almost worth the subscription just for that.

        I truly hate morning DJs with a passion. Let’s prank call someone or talk about Paris Hilton. Ugh, please.

      • HogwartsAlum says:

        @mbz32190:

        I never did either. I’d rather listen to CDs or streaming internet radio, which is free.

  8. menty666 says:

    Yeah, I’m one of those stockholders that gets the free anal expansion.

    I actually saw someone on orbitcast mention that even if echostar takes them over there’ll be more scrutiny over the merger. That should be enough to kill yet another company.

  9. nataku8_e30 says:

    sucks for people who bought lifetime subscriptions.

    • ras_d says:

      @nataku83: I am one of those, but actually stopped listening to it a year ago. Its pretty much garbage IMO. I got it for Stern, and my XC driving vacation, but after 3 months of it I was done forever.

      • Rusted says:

        @ras_d: Depends on what you listen to. I like C-Span, BBC, and the news 24/7. Makes up for those long lonely rides through the bible belt.

    • gStein_*|bringing starpipe back|* says:

      @nataku83: if (when) it is taken over by somebody else, they’ll probably offer some sort of offer for current (former) lifetime subscribers to get a new lifetime subscription for a few hundred $…
      or hopefully the courts will force them to honor any previous sirius/xm contracts as a term of the buyout/merger (haha, yeah right)

  10. rickinsthelens says:

    I have had Sirius from almost the start. My wife and I have it in each of our cars. I travel frequently into areas with little or no radio coverage, and it makes travel much better. That said, I have never listened to Howard Stern, and the deal with him was too much money for too little return. The FCC and Congress worrying about whether it would be a monopoly if they merged helped to exacerbate the company’s woes. The credit crunch effectively is killing them. I hope they survive they shakeout, but to woo younger listeners, they need to be more creative. Plus, why would a young hipster get Sirius when they can plug the ipod into the car’s stereo system?

    • menty666 says:

      @rickinsthelens: The ipod doesn’t help you much if you need to travel and want to listen to one of the sports games in the car on the way. Some of the content they have isn’t bad, I happen to like Howard Stern, as one overpaid example. It was fun listening to the Radio classics channel on an 8 hour trip with the family, and last time I made a long drive I had CNN to keep me company while the rest of the family slept.

    • fonetek says:

      @rickinsthelens: What’s a hipster?

      • rickinsthelens says:

        @fonetek: Hipsters are the young, usually affluent urban adults who tend to the trendy, slightly non-mainstream movements and fashions.Picture a typical trendy coffee bar or nightclub, and then the person in the skinny jeans, funky eye wear who patronize the place. They may have arrived by Prius, or better yet, on bicycle. I am creating a stereotype, but you get the idea.

  11. frodolives35 says:

    I am so glad I dumped them a few months back. They had a lot of problems in their billing dept. I am also glad I got back the money they tried to screw me out of. Thank god for charge back.

  12. ElizabethD says:

    Oh damn. I listen to Sirius’s blues channel all the time via our satellite TV connection (DirecTV). And their all-Christmas classical station at the appropriate season. I would hate to lose these….

  13. rpm773 says:

    I just got the “immediate action required” email from XM last week about the rates of my multiple radio account going up (unless I sign up for some long-term contract). I’m not quite sure how I’m going to play it (either drop a radio or close out the account altogether), but I figured I’d use this news as a little more leverage.

  14. GothamGal says:

    This story explains an e-mail that I received called “Immediate Action Required Regarding Your XM Service,” which said that I needed to renew my service by March 10th or I would now have to pay 2.99 per month to listen online.

    • PunditGuy says:

      @GothamGal: I got one of those emails — two weeks after I canceled my service. I know my radios aren’t receiving service, and I can only hope they don’t try charging me for this month.

  15. p012382 says:

    i love my satellite radio! its all i listen pretty much, no commercials and an excellent selection of what you want to hear!

  16. Blueskylaw says:

    Is that why their stock went to .052 cents today? I knew something was up when they went down over 50% in value. Somehow I get the feeling I will never get my break-even price of $1.91.

    :-(

  17. courtneywoah says:

    I listen to Pandora or Slacker on my iphone for free (though my wife just bought the upgraded slacker radio for $40 for the year). I can see how XM/Sirius would have trouble competing with these companies.

    • scooby2 says:

      @courtneywoah: I ditched XM/Sirius (had subs to both) for the Slacker G2 and premium service. Slacker offers a great service.

      When my premium sub is up, I will move to the plus service since it is cheaper and I do not ever want to save songs.

  18. SergioDingo says:

    I’m not surprised. The merger was just an excuse to keep all the higly paid executives while decimating any decent content either company had. There used to be 4 very good electronic music stations on Sirius. I loved them dearly. Then the merger happened and now I have 2 electronic music stations. One that plays bad house music, and one that plays bad house remixes of bad top 40 music. the local FM electronic music station has far more variety then Sirius XM does now.

    And they wonder why they’re hemorrhaging subscribers. You just got rid of the reasons everyone paid for it in the first place. To get music we CANT hear on the radio.

  19. jaydez says:

    Am I the only person that thinks satelite radio sounds like bad MP3 downloads? The music sounds like it is coming out of a tin can.

    I’ve listened to it in a Focus, Mazdaspeed3 (with the bose system, and jeep cherkoee and it all sounds like crap… FM sounded fine so it wasn’t the stereo itself.

    I would never pay for music quality like that.

    • captadam says:

      @jaydez: I’ve heard audophiles complain about it. Doesn’t bother me. I’ve had it since 2003 (I believe I was right around #500,000 for Sirius), and I don’t want to see it go away.

    • RedwoodFlyer says:

      @jaydez:

      It’s 32kbps on most music channels…1/4th of the old iTunes non-plus!

      @MadameX: Well I could krinkle a paper back and that would sound about the same as a DVD-Audio on a Bose system..

  20. MattO says:

    i love sirius…have had it for 3 years…and really hope they dont go out – and anyone who DOESNT have it, really doesnt understand how nice it is to have – is it a necessity? no…and if I were to be laid off – i would cancel in a heartbeat cause it is an extra…but having commercial free, clear music that is consistent…worth every penny

  21. craptastico says:

    the cause of this fiasco is that they overspent to compete with each other. now that they’ve merged, all of that money was a complete waste. MLB might be worth $100 mil (or whatever it was) if it attracts a customer to one vs the other, but now that they’re one company they probably could’ve gotten away with paying 1/10 of that. both companies have been poorly run for a long time.

  22. larrymac808 says:

    They killed Fred*, and now they’re dying. Serves ‘em right.

    * “Fred” was XM channel 44, “the history of alternative music”, approximately a billion and a half times better than the Sirius channel “First Wave” with it’s talky meat DJs and dinky little playlist.

    • rpm773 says:

      @larrymac808: I was probably familiar with 2 – 3 songs for every 10 I heard on Fred when I first started listening to it 4 years ago. At the end of its run, I was up to 4 – 5 songs.

      With First Wave, and “Cool English Guy” (as I call the annoying DJ, except I use a derogatory term in place of “cool”), I’m probably up to 8 – 9 for every 10 songs.

      I miss the variety a lot. Fred was a major source of “new” music for me until it went way.

    • oldtaku says:

      @larrymac808: Fred was awesome, and then they killed The Fungus for 24/7 AC/DC channel.

      Gee, now I can have low quality music that’s no better and repeats as often as terrestrial radio and they still talk too damn much. I decided I could resist that, tempting as it sounds, and ditched.

      SiriusXM can burn in hell, die in a fire, your choice of curses.

  23. Goatweed says:

    My renewal was coming up and I called to cancel, only to be given a $77 rate for the year (1/2 price). I took it, for < $7 a month why not. I listen mostly to Ron and Fez and baseball, and I won’t miss their crappy online stream. Slacker fills in the rest of my music entertainment needs, online streaming for FREE and in much better sound and content quality.

    • Steven Andrews says:

      @Goatweed:
      Well, that was awfully nice of them. When I got their scare tactic email, I called to cancel all 3 of my radios and they just said Ok and did it; never offered me anything to stay. I’ve only been a customer since they started the damn service as I got a radio on the west coast before they opened it up to the rest of the states.

      I followed up with multiple emails to them indicating how unhappy I was with their little FCC loophole and it appeared lawyers responded with how they followed the letter of the law, yadda yadda yadda. That may be all fine and good but I chose to deal with companies that at least make an effort to do the right thing and this ain’t that.

      Plus, why would I give them a years worth of money when I have no idea if they’ll be around in a month.

  24. Principia says:

    I am not shocked; as a long-term XM subscriber I was expecting better out of the merge… a combination of the best of both worlds, not ‘let’s eliminate or dumb down all of the XM stations and give people several channels that play only one act’s music all day!’

    XM was sometimes criticized (mostly by people who chose to subscribe to Sirius instead) for the bulk of their music selections being “too obscure,” but if all I wanted to hear was music I already own or could hear all the time on terrestrial radio, I would just listen to my iPod or the radio in my car.

    There seems to have recently been *some* small recognition on Sirius’ part that Maybe They Screwed Up via some programming changes (specifically on Area) that probably don’t mean much to Sirius listeners but XM subscribers have certainly noticed, with the return of at least one of the programs that was lost when they jettisoned The System.

    That’s a nice first step, but the powers that be at SiriusXM really need to take another long look at what havoc they’ve wreaked on their lineup and fix it, stat.

    • larrymac808 says:

      @Principia: “but if all I wanted to hear was music I already own or could hear all the time on terrestrial radio, I would just listen to my iPod or the radio in my car.”

      OMG thank you!! I constantly see the iPod presented as a reason why satellite radio is not needed, and I always think “really? do you have an MP3 (or whatever) of every song you ever might want to hear?” That’s what used to be good about the channels I listened to on XM – the chance to hear something I’d never heard before, or hadn’t heard in a long long time.

    • trustsatan says:

      @Principia: Bravo! That was an excellent summary from the perspective of an XM listener, I’d been an XM subscriber for over three years before letting it lapse last month. I loved XM for those years because it was always a great place to hear new (or at least new to me) music, when I came to realization that that was no longer true, post-merger, I decided it was no longer worth it. Well, that, and the discovery that my car’s CD player can read MP3 data files directly off of a CD, so I can make 100-track mix CDs that play for hours on end…

  25. JGKojak says:

    I have a theory- these companies have been trying to make broadcast radio crappy on purpose (how else do you explain how BAD most stations are) to force people into pay radio. Now I have to laugh.

    • theblackdog says:

      @JGKojak: Sirius and XM have no stake in terrestrial radio. Clear Channel is the reason that broadcast radio is the complete and utter cesspool of shit that it is.

  26. Anonymous says:

    I may be dropping them as well. I received the same email about how they want to charge 2.99 more per month if i want to continue to listen online. I really don’t care about the online stream being of higher quality, it was a nice perk to listen online while at work. With higher quality comes more bandwidth that I’m sure my company would gripe about. They’re going downhill, time to switch to free online alternatives.

  27. ToddMU03 says:

    I canceled because they dumped a lot of stations and I can get Big Ten football and basketball cheaper through Yahoo! Sports and it is cheaper to get NFL and MLB video and run them through my laptop onto my TV.

  28. quail says:

    I miss Fred on 44 on XM. They replaced it with what they call 1st Wave. Instead of old, cutting edge stuff you rarely hear they play the stuff that went main stream and became 80’s pop. Don’t get me started on them replacing UPOP with BBC1. Yuck. I too canceled.

    I do hope they go bankrupt and something good can come from the ashes. Might reconsider then.

    And yea. The music quality is awful anymore. When I first got XM some years back it sounded pretty close to CD quality. Not quite, but close.

  29. lowercase says:

    @Jeremy Wentworth: Well, when they were issued licenses, they were told that they absolutely could not merge under any conditions. So they should have anticipated a long merger process when they decided to merge anyway.

  30. sp00nix says:

    Might have helped if they kept the good stations. After the merger i canceled after a few weeks. They took my favorite stations and turned them into crap.

  31. David Brodbeck says:

    This is why I haven’t bought in to satellite radio. When it first came out I looked at the head units and thought, “wow, this is all proprietary. If these companies go under I’ll be stuck with a $400 doorstop.”

  32. Silversmok3 says:

    Hmm, ipod/Blackberry/iphone that can play your own chosen music, no commmercial breaks, without a monthly fee vs $13 a month for recycled playlists.

    Not much of a surprise that theyre going under in this belt-tightening period.I will say in XM-Sirius’ defense that it was a good way to discover new music occasionally, but at $13 a month id rather just spend an hour on iTunes randomly finding music.

    Had XM/Sirius found a way to to get good sattelite signal within buildings an iPod alliance with Apple would rock-literally.Too bad.

  33. socialSTD says:

    I absolutely loved my XM subscription before they merged. They wooed this younger listener over with stations like Fungus 53, Fred, Lucy, Liquid Metal and XM Comedy. I always found a station with something to listen to.

    Now that they’ve been replaced all those stations the with terrible Sirius replacements I’m going to be end my subscription in a couple of months, once my contract is up.

    I find myself listening to my Pandora stations on my iPhone far more than I listen to XM/Sirius.

  34. Trai_Dep says:

    Isn’t there some way we can blame the Fairness Doctrine on this mess? Guys? GUYS?!

  35. radiochief says:

    I got Sirius when Howard left FM. As of now, I have not listened to him continuously in at least a year.

    I have one Sportster-R at work (with b-box) because radio reception is horrible. I have a Sirius tuner connected to my Alpine head unit.

    I do not want to have to pay $3 extra a month for the one extra radio I have.

    I’d be sad if they went belly up and ceased to exist, but then again, I am not sure I’d miss them as I thought I would…

  36. jmndos says:

    I hope sirius/xm die.

    The use a non-standard system satellite radio transmission which makes their raidios incompatible with any other system anywhere…

  37. fatcop says:

    Who saw this coming when the worst of the 2 companies took over the best? Half a billion dollars for one guy that works maybe thirty weeks a year, and four days a week at that?

    Screw’em.

  38. Borax-Johnson says:

    Hey look! On page 73,534,816,292,111 of the emergency stimulus bill, there a little over on quadrillion dollars to “provide economic certantity, quality retention, affordability and environmental outreach …for non-terrestrial radio, subject to provisions of Title 948, Chapter 42, Section 373(f) of the safe water drinking act”.

    There. Satellite radio really was ‘too big to fail’.

  39. prag says:

    I’m thinking the bankruptcy is to provide cover for dumping support for the XM hardware. The merger doesn’t make sense if they need to support two separate broadcast systems. Maybe keep the land-based repeaters to provide some coverage but one of the two sets of sat-based systems has to go.

    • David Brodbeck says:

      @prag: Hmm, could be. But I wouldn’t expect them to dump XM service until the satellites reach end-of-life. Maintenance costs for a satellite once it’s in orbit are basically zero, because you can’t reach it to maintain it. The expense is all in building and launching it.

  40. Starfury says:

    We have Dish and they provided music from one of the satellite radio stations. We liked the 80’s channel; they played a good selection. After the merger they play different 80’s music and it sucks. Overall the changes made to the music lineup are crap; we never listen to music through Dish anymore.

    Because of that we’ll never subscribe to their service.

  41. Jesse Brennan says:

    YES! thank god somebody is with me on that!

  42. HighontheHill says:

    I have had Sirius since the day Howard announced his departure from terrestrial radio; it was the last push I needed to try it. I have loved it since the day I turned it on, it supplements my mp3 player stocked full of favorite tunes and the numerous podcasts I listen to. Beyond the commercial free music stations, I enjoy being able to drive anywhere and listen seamless without changing channels as stations fade in and out.

    Additionally I stream Sirius on my phone and listen with earbuds, which when travelling locally provides better reception than the satellite, particularly in summer with tree cover, I can stream it at home, and in the office too all with one sub. I admit I am pissed about the pending internet upcharge.

    I will miss it if it goes, but certainly it is a luxury not a necessity.

  43. Anonymous says:

    Anyone who complains about Sirius and Howard Stern getting too much money I feel is misinformed. The data I’ve seen from multiple sources says that he paid for himself and then some based on the new subs that came when he signed on, myself included.

    The service needs to pay for content. I would ask how much value that Jamie Foxx, Oprah, and Martha Stewart are bringing to the channels. Every time your hear about Sirius in almost any media source, Howard’s name is mentioned; that is unmatched branding and an extremely valuable asset.

    All that said, I love my Sirius and hope to have it for many years. It does need some adjustments, but it is (one of) the largest subscription-based products out there. I don’t listen to FM at all anymore and haven’t since christmas 2005. It is truly brutal with the commercials and lack of visionary programming. I’m happily paying $30 per month and plan on it for long as I’m able

  44. faintandfuzzies says:

    HA HA! That’s what they get for monopolizing! I stopped using them when they did the change-up and didn’t notify us that is was going to happen. I don’t even miss it yet. There is always FREE digital radio!

  45. theblackdog says:

    I really, really, really, hope that Sirius doesn’t go under. I got them because I needed to listen to more than just top 40 and country when I was in rural New Mexico. Even living in Maryland now I just can’t give up Sirius. There are times that I can’t see the Ravens game because I am in the DC TV market, so Sirius is a godsend for NFL.

    Beside that, they have the only radio station dedicated to GLBT listeners, and they have some pretty entertaining talent in the evening.

  46. Karl Kvalvik says:

    It is nice to see that SOME companies that turn into monopolies and start jacking with the product and customer can still go under. That is how it is supposed to work folx.

    I canceled b/c of raised rates, crap customer service, and email spam. Even AFTER I canceled and told them not to email me!

  47. scientisttz says:

    They need to switch to an ad-supported service that’s completely free with the option to buy additional channels of premium ad-free content such as Howard Stern, MLB, NFL, etc.

    • Anonymous says:

      @scientisttz: @scientisttz:
      are you even a subscriber? its already an premium ad-based service on each of those channels you have mentioned. i pay the subscription fees each month so that i get commercial free music stations. do you work for an FM station and are justifying that model?

  48. Jason Rose says:

    satellite radio > laser disk

  49. Anonymous says:

    They could save some money by getting rid of Madison and her terrible singing…not to mention annoying commentary.

    Seriously, I’ve paid for this, now just give me music…enough of the jabber!

    And yes, they have screwed up the programming since the merger…not to mention not informing XM subscribers of the change!

  50. TechnoDestructo says:

    Terrestrial radio sucks (and not just in terms of advertising, but programming), why should I believe that satellite radio would be any better?

    Looking at XM’s pages, I don’t see any evidence that it isn’t just more of the same old crap.

  51. ClockOnTheStove says:

    Can I just say the the Sirius mascot turned upside-down looks like a decapitated, pregnant stripper? Thatisall.

  52. parad0x360 says:

    The problem is they have high monthly prices. Honestly it should be like $5 a month at most. The flip side is it cost them so much in R&D for the radios and a mountain of money to get those satellites into space that they have no choice but to charge a high fee until they pay off their debt. So they are stuck between a rock and a hard place here.

    I hope they dont go away because I cant live without Howard Stern. He may retire in a couple years but I hope not. If he does and Sirius is still the current price I will quit. I hate regular radio and I love music on Sirius but I have an ipod and a G1 (google phone) with an 8 gig memory card which I can hook up to my car radio so…i can live without Sirius if Stern isnt there.

  53. Mike S. says:

    I have XM/Sirius on my Saturn ION, and I called recently to discontinue the service. The person at the desk asked me if I was willing to keep XM/Sirius on my car for just $5 a month for five months. I said yes.
    Glad I did; they finally put Sirius’ GLBT channel on my XM service. If you’re on the fence about keeping the service, call the company. You might get a deal to stay on, at least for a short time.

  54. Skater009 says:

    Yep , they are on their way out .

  55. z4ce says:

    @Jeremy Wentworth: I am curious.. why do you like the service? Why not just get an iPhone with the last.fm app or something? Is it the stereo integration? I’ve always thought satellite radio was an odd idea given that radio seems a bit obsolete…

  56. cronomorph says:

    In the daily trades today they mentioned that they have a $400 million debt repayment coming due at the end of the month and they are very short of the cash needed to pay it.

    They are beginning the paperwork to file Chapter 11, and in doing so they will be able to get out of expensive long term contracts like they have with either MLB or the NFL.

    The president of EchoStar (the Dish Network folks) has been snapping up Sirius stock, and has apparently wanted to either purchase or hostile takeover the company. The Chapter 11 filing may force him to play his cards now and get the company and it’s satellites at a bargain price, rather than having to try and buy it during the sale that could happen after the bankruptcy.

    If they die it will be good for terrestrial radio, which is helpful, seeing as how I work for a radio company.

  57. SecureLocation says:

    Sat. radio mostly appeals to people with ADD. But now they have advertising breaks on some channels and their djs talk to much. And they need to face the fact that it’s never gonna be easy to compete against iPods stuffed with kajillions of illegally downloaded songs.

  58. bvita says:

    Disclosure: I’ve been an XM customer since almost day one and, in my professional life I handle XM for business as one of my product offerings. That having been said…

    I’m don’t have an MBA so can someone explain to me how a failing company (Sirius) can merge with a more healthy company (XM), become the dominant partner and then impose the same failing business practices that was tanking them on the healthier one? As the company continues to tank the stock holders do allow this misguided CEO to continue and do nothing? Is everyone asleep there? Is Mel a shill for the terrestrial broadcasters?

    Given the fact that XM Weather is now used by all of the major airlines as well as general aviation, will the government allow them to tank? Will the government bail them out or will they spin off? Are we looking at another Iridium deal here?

  59. newage44 says:

    Gee, I guess paying all that moola to Stern has finally caught up with them? Can’t you hear Sir Howard and his fans sucking on their thumbs in anguish?

    That’s what they get for providing non service and poor selections to “new car buyers” that could afford auto internet radio. How about only 3 Jazz stations versus the hundreds on my home PC…Duh! Get real or get out!

  60. u1itn0w2day says:

    Not surprising ,when I heard Howard Sterns initial contract I was like what the heck .He may be popular but will people actually pay to listen to him-in the morning .He’s just a symptom .

    All these companies say things like ‘ well it’s only x dollars of month ‘ .The problem is ALL of those companies .People with Sirius XM probably had other expenses per month,others with Sirius XM now have other expenses with more priority .

    These companies are NOT just competing with in their own industry they are competing with every other company and industry for your dollar .How much disposable income did they really think was out there .

  61. Alex Herrera says:

    It’s a shame. I signed up for XM online. Only 7 bucks a month. I never bothered buying a radio for my car. I usually listen to NPR anyway.

    I work on computer all day at work and Xm online makes my day go by so much faster. I hope they pull through.