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Old 08-13-2004, 02:21 AM   #1
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SIRIUS Update

Having just logged the best quarter in its history for subscriber sign-ups and arranging new programming initiatives with more music channels, SIRIUS is providing the best in personalized entertainment and information.

July 21, 2004: SIRIUS is riding a wave of positive momentum as the company nears the 1 million subscriber goal this year and expands its nationwide sales/distribution networks – all while further strengthening the unmatched lineup of music, sports and entertainment.

In his quarterly conference call today with financial analysts, investors and the media, President & CEO Joe Clayton reported that SIRIUS continues to log strong subscriber growth in 2004, and added that the company is extremely well positioned for this year’s fall and holiday selling seasons.

Retail sales locations for SIRIUS products have more than tripled to over 20,000, and the company’s relationships with automotive manufacturers and dealerships will further accelerate in the second half.

“During the second quarter, we added 128,678 activations for a total subscriber base of 480,341 at the end of the first half,” Clayton said. “This was an excellent quarter for us, and the best in our history – even surpassing our strong 2003 fourth quarter.”

SIRIUS surpassed the 500,000 subscriber mark this month and is on track to reach the one million subscriber level before year-end, he added. Sixty-six percent of sales come from retail, with the remaining 34 percent derived through the automotive and specialty market sectors.

Pre-paid activations continue to grow, with 77 percent of subscribers now paying on a non-monthly basis. Clayton said this provides SIRIUS with a favorable cash flow and a stable subscriber base.

The introduction of new technology SIRIUS receivers – known as “generation 2.5” products – is planned at retailers this fall. Advantages include reductions in size, lower power consumption, the introduction of new features and lower costs. The range of products will include new low-profile Plug & Play transportable units from Clarion, Blaupunkt, JVC, Audiovox and U.S. Electronics.

In addition, the company will be offering the first Plug & Play receiver with SIRIUS’ own brand, which is to be called “The Sportster.” This product is designed to complement the SIRIUS football-related relationship with the NFL, and to capitalize on the introduction of live NFL coverage in August.

“The Sportster will allow subscribers to display their favorite team’s logo on the screen of the unit, and it can also be programmed to alert you when your team is playing,” Clayton said. “It also has a ‘jump-ahead’ button that automatically takes you to the channel where your team’s game is being broadcast.”

Major progress has been made in broadening retail distribution for SIRIUS, which includes the DISH Network initiative with Echostar that brings SIRIUS music into 7 million homes, and the completion of Wal-Mart’s introduction of Jensen Plug & Play and Boomboxes on retail shelves of 2,100 stores.

SIRIUS also added Advance Auto Parts to its sales network, and Clayton said more key regional and national retailers will be brought on board in the second half of 2004. In the specialty markets, more than 500 truck stop locations are selling SIRIUS products, including Travel Centers of America, Interstate Connections, Flying “J” and Pilot. The very popular Streamer Plug & Play product – designed specifically with truckers in mind – is in stock at 550 heavy truck dealers. SIRIUS also is a dealer option on Freightliner and Kenworth Class “8” trucks.

Also strengthening the specialty market presence is the offer of SIRIUS as a standard feature with a one-year pre-paid subscription on 25 different boat manufacturers’ brands.

On the automotive side, initial results from Chrysler factory-installed programs have been quite promising, Clayton reported. The first two vehicle lines introduced by Chrysler this summer with SIRIUS are the 300 series and the Dodge Magnum. The manufacturer’s suggested retail price for SIRIUS receivers incorporated in the vehicles is $195, which includes a one-year pre-paid subscription. An additional eight 2005-model year vehicle lines are launching with factory availability of the $195 SIRIUS package this quarter: Jeep Grand Cherokee and Liberty; the Dodge Dakota, Durango and Caravan; and the Chrysler Town & Country, Pacifica, and PT Cruiser.

For Mercedes Benz, SIRIUS is now launched in the E-class and S-class as a dealer accessory with availability on all Mercedes Benz USA vehicle lines (the exception is the SLK, which will be added this fall). Mercedes Benz USA also is expected to announce full vehicle preparation center availability this fall – which essentially is the same as a factory-installed capability. A prepaid one-year subscription is included on all SIRIUS dealer and factory installations.

The BMW 7 series and select 5 Series vehicles were launched with factory installed SIRIUS receivers in the first half of this year, and the satellite radio service also is available as a dealer-installed option on all BMW 3 series sedans and coupes, X3 and X5 vehicles, and select 5 Series models.

SIRIUS also is featured as a factory and dealer option for nearly all Audi vehicles, as well as with 11 Nissan and seven Infiniti models. A factory option is now available for the Porsche Cayenne, while Volkswagen dealers have begun ordering new 2005 model year Beetles factory-equipped with SIRIUS. A limited edition new Beetle convertible will be offered this fall exclusively featuring SIRIUS.

“We continue our on-going discussions with Honda, Hyundai, Kia, Subaru, and Toyota,” Clayton said. “And we will be offering SIRIUS satellite radio kits that will enable General Motors car owners to enjoy SIRIUS; these will be available for many GM models in select markets this fall.”

The first test program in SIRIUS’ initiative with the Penske Automotive Group and the United Auto Group has been launched in the New England marketplace, and plans are on track to include the remainder of their dealerships by this fall.

Hertz is now offering SIRIUS bundled with the NeverLost® navigation system in the rental company’s prestige and luxury line-up of vehicles, which includes the Lincoln Town Car, LS, and Navigator; Jaguar, Volvo and Land Rover. As a result, 34 vehicle types are available with SIRIUS service, and Hertz’ advertising efforts – including commercials, magazines, point-of-sale collateral material, direct mail, Website and airport buses – will begin featuring references to SIRIUS.

Discussing the progress made with its programming line-up, Clayton said SIRIUS has been extremely diligent in acquiring new content and differentiating itself from the competitor as well as from traditional radio. Recent programming additions include Elvis Radio, Sirius Patriot (a conservative channel with some programming segments from the National Rifle Association), Air America (a liberal-oriented talk show format with Al Franken), the Eminem channel featuring the hip-hop legend and Oscar-winning artist, Tony Hawk “demolition” radio and the Maxim Channel (which is coming this fall).

The addition of five new music channels brings SIRIUS to 120 channels, composed of 65 commercial-free music channels and 55 channels of news, weather, sports, and talk programming.

“Whether it’s Elvis, the NFL or Eminem, SIRIUS is without question the best in personalized entertainment and information,” Clayton concluded.
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Old 08-13-2004, 05:29 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roscoryan
On the automotive side, initial results from Chrysler factory-installed programs have been quite promising, Clayton reported. The first two vehicle lines introduced by Chrysler this summer with SIRIUS are the 300 series and the Dodge Magnum. The manufacturer’s suggested retail price for SIRIUS receivers incorporated in the vehicles is $195, which includes a one-year pre-paid subscription. An additional eight 2005-model year vehicle lines are launching with factory availability of the $195 SIRIUS package this quarter: Jeep Grand Cherokee and Liberty; the Dodge Dakota, Durango and Caravan; and the Chrysler Town & Country, Pacifica, and PT Cruiser.
This is so reasonably priced considering it includes a 1 year subscription, that I would guess that a vast majority of vehicles will be ordered by dealers with this option. If Ford offered this same deal on most of it's vehicles, we could turn in quarters similar to XM's. I'm encouraged by the progress on the OEM side of things.
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Old 08-13-2004, 11:25 AM   #3
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I agree with you Manco there is certainly light at the end of the tunnel in regards to these OEM's. If we could get these guys on board in a solid manner then SIRIUS could actually beat estimates and that would certainly be good. I know this is probably wishful thinking on my part but boy if we could by some means hit 1.2 million, that would shut up all these naysayers.
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Old 08-13-2004, 12:11 PM   #4
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aw nuts, no mention of the universal tuner. Cover all bases before moving forward!
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Old 08-13-2004, 12:22 PM   #5
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Who says a universal tuner isn't pending?

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Old 08-15-2004, 07:33 PM   #6
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I wish that Ford would get it's act together like DC. We can only hope.
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Old 08-15-2004, 10:35 PM   #7
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Quote:
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I wish that Ford would get it's act together like DC. We can only hope.
They will, but not until the 2006 model year. We are resigned to another disappointing year from Ford imo.
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