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SIRIUS XM Radio (Merger Mania) Now that the FCC has "approved" the merger, discuss all the aspects of it and the newly formed company.

 
 
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Old 02-20-2007, 04:18 PM   #1
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Default State of the Merger from Orbitcast

here you go. now stop crying about the merge and take a 'wait and see' attitude.

http://www.orbitcast.com/archives/xm...ubscriber.html

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Old 02-20-2007, 04:22 PM   #2
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That pretty much sums it up..
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Old 02-20-2007, 04:34 PM   #3
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Good analysis.
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Old 02-20-2007, 04:45 PM   #4
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Excellent post, Ryan. Very nice.

But good luck! It's HARD stopping those die hard conspiracy theorists and doomsday analysts.
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Old 02-20-2007, 04:51 PM   #5
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Very well put.
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Old 02-20-2007, 04:59 PM   #6
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Ok so now for my comments:

There's been a flood of emotions over this merger, and along with them comes a few misconceptions about what's to happen next. So I think that it's best to lay out exactly how this impacts you, the subscriber.


First thing's first, understand that for the immediate interim period - that is the period until Sirius and XM work to receive regulatory approval - nothing will change. I actually spoke incorrectly this morning when I thought that significant resources would be dedicated to the transition period. Due to anti-trust regulations, XM and Sirius will continue to operate independently of each other during this interim period.

We already knew nothing will change right away during the "interim", but they WILL change.

So for the next year or so, absolutely nothing will change. Perhaps the boys at Interoperable Technologies will be working a bit harder than normal, but as it seems right now - it's "business as usual."

What about my current receiver?
Don't go selling your receiver just yet, because it's so far off before a new one will be needed (if ever?) that there's no need to freak out about it yet. Remember, you have at least a year before any transitions even begin, and beyond that XM and Sirius plan to maintain your current service for an indefinite period of time. Do you think they want to lose customers right now? Of course, not!

Ok I just spent 320 bucks on a Stiletto 3 weeks ago and I 'might' have to replace it as early as next year?? For the money I had to pay I had planned on keeping it for a long time before replacing it.

I'm thinking of buying a receiver, should I wait?
Absolutely not. For the same reason as above. There's so much time (and so many "ifs") that there's just no need for a knee jerk reaction. Go ahead and buy that new receiver and just enjoy yourself.

You better wait as things could change dramatically in just a year or two and if you spend big money like I did for a receiver like a Stiletto your screwed.


Are they going to kill my favorite channels?
NO! Again, predicting the death of channels on your presets right now is a little too crazy. Will there eventually be some dropping of channels as "synergies" are discovered? Of course, but again - that's such a LONG ways away that it just shouldn't even be in your vocabulary of concerns.

I like how the question is answered with a defenate "NO!" but also with "Will there eventually be some dropping of channels as 'synergies' are discovered? OF COURSE" Then to say "it's such a LONG ways away" is crap cause earlier it was mentioned that these things could change in as little as a year from now. That's not that LONG.

Great, now they're going to raise rates right?
For the next year? No. For the future after that? Doubtful. Mel Karmazin, who historically has seemed very much in favor of increasing rates, definitely seemed to soften on the subject this morning. Why? Because both Karmazin and Parsons see satellite radio as competing against a great marketplace - a marketplace that just happens to be dominated by free services. It's hard enough for consumers to grasp the concept of "pay radio" - so raising rates is probably not high up on their priority list. Staying in business is their highest priority.

Not high up on their priority list, maybe not, but it's still on their list of things to do, no?

Yeah well, "big bad Mel" is going to put commercials on my music channels, right?
Satellite radio's biggest draw is commercial-free music. As popular as Howard Stern is, it's the core offering of 100% commercial-free music that is the true basis behind satellite radio. While it's true that Karmazin is very well known for being an advertising guru, he's not about to shit on the core offering of this service. Your music channels - and their commercial-free status - are completely safe.

This topic is why I subscribed to Sirius radio to begin with and why I believe is sat radio's main selling point is the commerical free music. Let's face it, people don't want to pay for a service then have to listen to commericals. We're willing to pay cause we don't want the commericals. So this answer will meet to everyones satisfaction I believe.


But wait, aren't you against the merger?
Deep in my bones I generally hate mergers because I believe in the beauty of competition. But I also realize that business is business. I don't think they would be attempting this merger if there wasn't a need for it. And from my view as a consumer, if my experience doesn't change - or is improved - and my costs don't go up, then I'm a happy man. This is a different landscape than that of the cable industry (they're competing against other pay services - satellite radio is competing against free services), so that makes it unique in that sense.

And what if your experience changes as you know it will, what if your costs go up, as it most likely will?? In other company mergers that you were against as it was against the 'beauty of competition' it was business is buisness in those situations too, this is no different.


Rarely do you hear of a merger that actually opens up choices for the consumer. So in that sense, this very well might be a good thing. That said, I'll be the first one to go absolutely nuts if I detect that this infringes upon consumer rights.

How does it open up more choice?? If I don't like your service after the merger, what other sat radio company do I have to go to?? What other service can I get unlimited music, from any genre possible, plus talk shows, sports, news for 13 bucks a month?? Internet radio??? Maybe, but I can't get on my desktop pc and log onto the internet and listen as I'm driving down the highway now can I??? IPod maybe?? No cause for 13 bucks a month I'd only get 13 songs, so that's not competition and an equal comparision. Buy 1 cd a month from my local music store?? Again not an equal comparision nor your competition.

Bottom line there is no other "choice" if this merger happens and current subscribers don't like it. If we want sat radio, we're stuck with what you choose to give us as content, and we're stuck with paying what you set as your subsription rate.


But for now, the bottom line is: calm down. We've got a long road ahead of us...

The only true statement made IMO!!
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Old 02-20-2007, 06:01 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xPhantomx View Post
Ok so now for my comments:

Ok I just spent 320 bucks on a Stiletto 3 weeks ago and I 'might' have to replace it as early as next year?? For the money I had to pay I had planned on keeping it for a long time before replacing it.

You better wait as things could change dramatically in just a year or two and if you spend big money like I did for a receiver like a Stiletto your screwed.
1. What makes you think your Stiletto will be operational in a year to begin with? Ask the S50 users.

2. What makes you think that XM or Sirius will just shut off 13+ million receivers. Do you honestly think they will be willing to lose that many subscribers? I don't think so.

Calm down. Of course changes will occur. Change is good most of the time.
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Old 02-20-2007, 07:22 PM   #8
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That article should be required reading for everyone doing the Chicken Little routine. Of course it won't help some of the extreme cases....
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Old 02-20-2007, 08:04 PM   #9
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I'm opposed to the merger, so I hope it isn't approved. But assuming it is, and based on the conference call and my guesses, here are the real answers to your questions, as opposed to the evasive half-answers that the PR flaks are offering.

Q: When will my current Sirius receiver become obsolete?

A: Not until the year 2015, when the current fleet of satellites nears the end of its life. You will be able to subscribe at the discounted $12/month rate for the basic lineup, or $15/month for the premium tier. The premium tier includes Howard Stern, all NFL games, and selected MLB games. In other words, Sirius receivers will continue to receive the majority of the current channels, with a few additional channels available to premium tier subscribers. In order to provide these new channels, some of the less popular channels will no longer be available.

Q: When will my current XM receiver become obsolete?

A: Not until the year 2015, when the current fleet of satellites nears the end of its life. You will be able to subscribe at the discounted $12/month rate for the basic lineup, or $15/month for the premium tier. The premium tier includes Opie & Anthony, all MLB games, and selected NFL games. In other words, XM receivers will continue to receive the majority of the current channels, with a few additional channels available to premium tier subscribers. In order to provide these new channels, sound quality will be reduced on the existing channels until mid 2008, when additional bandwidth will be available due to the end of the Clear Channel contract. At that time, the commercial music channels will be dropped.

Q: What channel changes are planned?

A: Duplicate channels will be combined, so both Sirius and XM units will receive the same programming for most decades channels, some pop and rock channels, and other selected genres. These combined channels will replace the existing channels when there is a close match. In general, playlists will fall somewhere in the middle between what the matching channel on Sirius and the matching channel on XM used to offer.

Q: I am not a current subscriber. What kind of hardware should I get?

A: First look at the current programming lineup. It will remain nearly unchanged through 2007, and the majority of channels will remain unchanged thereafter. On a cost-per-channel basis, XM units are the better value, and will let you receive more of the broad mix of programming available from the combined company. But Sirius talk programming will continue to have better sound quality. XM portable units will continue to be smaller and have better battery life. However, XM will not offer a WiFi unit; that option will be available only on Sirius portables.

Q: I am a dual subscriber now. Will I get a discount?

A: Yes. Dual subscribers can get the basic lineup on both services for a total cost of $15/month. Or get the premium tier on both services for $20/month. Until new equipment is available, you will need two receivers to take advantage of this offer.

Q: When will I be able to receive all channels on one receiver?

A: The first dual-chip receivers will be available in a plug-and-play unit by the middle of 2008. The first portable dual-chip units will appear by the end of 2008, but they will be larger and have shorter battery life than the single-chip models. Dual-chip receivers will start appearing as factory-installed options by the 2011 model year.

Q: What subscription plans will be offered for dual-chip receivers?

A: The same as for current dual subscribers: $15/month for the basic tier, or $20/month for the premium tier.

Q: Once dual-chip receivers are available, will I be able to trade in my old receiver for a new one?

A: Yes. A $50 rebate will be available against the purchase of a dual-chip receiver for customers trading in a single-chip receiver.

Q: Will my lifetime Sirius subscription still be honored?

A: Yes. You will continue to receive the basic tier for no additional charge. You may, if you wish, upgrade to the premium tier for a discounted charge of $4/month.

I hope these answers are helpful as you consider the advantages and disadvantages of this merger.

Last edited by pto; 02-20-2007 at 08:15 PM..
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Old 02-20-2007, 08:10 PM   #10
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Quote:
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here are the real answers to your questions
Thanks Mel!! Er...Gary!! Um...uh...Hugh!!.....

...who ARE you, and how can I subscribe to your newsletter?

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Old 02-20-2007, 09:16 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pto View Post

Q: Will my lifetime Sirius subscription still be honored?

A: Yes. You will continue to receive the basic tier for no additional charge. You may, if you wish, upgrade to the premium tier for a discounted charge of $4/month.
I'd gladly pay a one-time fee to upgrade to premium as not to deal with monthly payments added to my lifetime sub.
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Old 02-20-2007, 09:27 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DMAG View Post
I'd gladly pay a one-time fee to upgrade to premium as not to deal with monthly payments added to my lifetime sub.
So what happens with today's premium content that us lifetimers already get. Do we lose it unless we pay the fee? How is this good for us? Would this happen without the buy-out? Not a chance. It's extortion now.

What that answer says to me is that the basic tier is going to change in terms of the programming we get for an equivalent of $12.95/month, and that a $4 fee will be charged to get back some of what we already had pre-buyout. And it says $4 discounted, so what does that translate to for a premium tier for new subscribers?

Tell me again, how is this good for the consumer?
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Old 02-20-2007, 10:15 PM   #13
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So what happens with today's premium content that us lifetimers already get. Do we lose it unless we pay the fee? How is this good for us? Would this happen without the buy-out? Not a chance. It's extortion now.
Wrong.. I remember a small little company who did this, and stopped offering lifetimes. What was the name? Oh yeah, TiVo.
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Old 02-20-2007, 10:16 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pto View Post
I'm opposed to the merger, so I hope it isn't approved. But assuming it is, and based on the conference call and my guesses, here are the real answers to your questions, as opposed to the evasive half-answers that the PR flaks are offering.
I don't think you're helping anyone by presenting your "guesses" and opinions as "real answers".
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Old 02-21-2007, 07:09 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pto View Post

Q: When will my current Sirius receiver become obsolete?

A: Not until the year 2015, when the current fleet of satellites nears the end of its life.
However keep in mind Sirius is still going ahead and will be launching sirius 5 in 2008. The bird will be geostationary and should have 15 years life expectany. The other 3 Loral birds that run figure 8 orbits however will be approaching end of life around 2015 or so.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pto View Post
Q: When will my current XM receiver become obsolete?

A: Not until the year 2015, when the current fleet of satellites nears the end of its life.
XM just launched two brand new birds up. The west cost bird just went up in Jan 2007 and has 15 years life expectancy. The east coast bird went up around 2005 or so and has 15 years life expectancy. The earliest bird will need replacing around 2020 .
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