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Old 08-17-2005, 02:13 PM   #1
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Sirius to Air Mississippi State, Ole Miss Games
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Default Sirius to Air Mississippi State, Ole Miss Games

Sirius to air MSU, UM games

By Ian R. Rapoport

It won't matter if you're a Mississippi State fan in Arizona or an Ole Miss fan in New York. If you have a Sirius Satellite Radio, you'll be able to listen to every one of your team's games.

TeleSouth Communications announced Monday that Mississippi State and Ole Miss have each reached agreements with Sirius to air their football games on the subscriber-based radio service.

Listeners will be able to hear a feed of the home team's radio broadcast if both schools are involved with Sirius. If opponents don't have a deal with Sirius, then fans will be able to hear the State or UM broadcast even if the teams are on the road.

The agreement has all parties celebrating the increased range.

"It's going to be great," said John Winfield, vice president of operations for TeleSouth Communications. "It's like putting a broadcast out to the nation. Fans and alumni all over the country can cue up the broadcast instead of having to sit in front of a computer and stream it."

Winfield said the deals each run two years, but the companies will be looking to extend them after the initial period. He declined to give the exact financial terms, but MSU athletic director Larry Templeton called his school's financial gain "minimal," if any. He added that making a profit isn't the reason for the deal.

"We're doing it for the exposure," Templeton said. "We're not doing it for the money."

MSU and UM are two of the 10 Southeastern Conferences teams to come to terms with Sirius, leaving out only Arkansas and Georgia.

"It's a level playing field for everyone," Ole Miss athletic director Pete Boone said. "It's a world-wide deal that should benefit the fans. An Ole Miss fan in Germany can listen to us just as well as one in (Mississippi)."

Monday's announcement involved only football, but Winfield said his company is working with Sirius on basketball and baseball deals, though Sirius has yet to solidify its coverage for those sports.

Like its competitor XM, Sirius broadcasts to satellites, which means that listeners are no longer inhibited by their location. They can drive across the country and stay on one radio station, and they can listen to the same Sirius station in, say, Arizona as they can in New York. Essentially, it's like cable TV, but for radio.

To use Sirius, one must buy a separate unit (ranging from $99 to $1,200) and subscribe to the network (roughly $15 per month). The unit can be mounted on the dashboard of a car, in a boom box, or on the wall. Some are portable.

Subscribers get more than 120 music, talk and sports stations with no commercials. XM and Sirius each have different contracts for different leagues. Winfield said his company went with Sirius instead of XM because that's what the other SEC schools were doing.

The new deal won't affect TeleSouth's advertising dollars for this season. But it could in the future, Winfield said, because the advertisers get access to a national market.
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Old 08-19-2005, 04:29 PM   #2
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