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Digital Science

XM and Sirius Merger? 197

Posted by samzenpus
from the one-satellite-is-enough dept.
chipset writes "Well, it seems Sirius and XM are in talks again. This story from FoxNews indicates they are in merger discussions and want to expand their reach into all communications from space. This includes Cell, Music, and TV. I would love to see something like this take place. Give DirecTV and DishNetwork a little competition."
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XM and Sirius Merger?

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  • dupe! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by syukton (256348) * on Wednesday January 26, 2005 @08:19PM (#11487276)
    The thing I find funny is that the exact same story was submitted yesterday.
    http://science.slashdot.org/article.pl ?sid=05/01/2 6/2319240&tid=91&tid=14

    I mean it's the exact same story.

    The link in the blurb is the same.
    The blurb itself is the same.
    The submitter is the same.
    EVEN THE POSTER IS THE SAME.

    Last time it was in "digital" and "science" and this time it's in the same sections (which are, relatedly, a totally wrong categorization, for which samzenpus should be flogged with a bundle of cat5 ethernet cables)

    I emailed daddypants@slashdot.org about this, to no avail; the dupe got posted anyhow.
  • by kosmicki (770049) on Wednesday January 26, 2005 @08:19PM (#11487278)
    I just hope they take over XM's price.
  • Re:dupe! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by rdwald (831442) on Wednesday January 26, 2005 @08:23PM (#11487323)
    Actually, in addition to the similarities you noted, both stories were posted at the exact same time. Literally the only difference is the date. This makes me wonder if there wasn't some sort of software error that somehow duplicated the post. Either that, or samzenpus decided to make the most dupeful dupe in the history of /.
  • by nuclear305 (674185) * on Wednesday January 26, 2005 @08:32PM (#11487401)
    The summary indicates they would expand their products into TV and other markets in addition to radio.

    I forgive you for stopping midway through the summary to post a question which is answered in it...
  • What Should Happen (Score:3, Interesting)

    by tobes (302057) <tobypadilla@Nospam.gmail.com> on Wednesday January 26, 2005 @08:34PM (#11487420) Homepage
    While this is pretty unfounded, it does open the door to further speculation. My personal choice (if I were CEO of XM or Sirius) would be to acquire Real and merge my subscriber base with the Rhapsody subscribers. One account and you can stream Rhapsody to your computer or sat radio to your reciever. Personally, I'd subscribe to such a service.
  • by nuclear305 (674185) * on Wednesday January 26, 2005 @08:57PM (#11487650)
    "Try creating a monopoly on satellite radio before the industry even gets off its feet"

    I'm not sure the industry is going to get any more off its feet as far as additional competition.

    This isn't exactly like a Windows -vs- Linux battle because these are both pieces of software that more often than not will run on the same hardware.

    In the case of satellite radio you have to buy hardware specific to that company. I'd equate this more to Betamax -vs- VHS. Betamax may have been a superior format but for those who already had VHS, what incentive was there to buy another piece of proprietary hardware?

    Of course there are kits that allow you to use satellite radio with a head unit that doesn't come satellite-ready that would allow switching, but even then you're still having to buy more proprietary hardware.

    For there to be any new competition in the market, there is going to have to be innovation that takes satellite radio beyond its current form because nobody is going to care if yet another company pops up with commercial-free satellite radio that is identical to the others except for 1) Company name 2) Content offered.
  • Compete with Dish? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by MrZaius (321037) on Wednesday January 26, 2005 @10:07PM (#11488123) Homepage
    I don't know what the relationship is, exactly, but Dish Network already rebroadcasts/picks up the Sirius radio stations. Why bite the hand that feeds you?

    See:
    http://www.dishnetwork.com/content/program ming/sir ius/index.shtml
  • by sdo1 (213835) on Wednesday January 26, 2005 @10:43PM (#11488437) Journal
    Having had XM for a few months, I can not even begin to tell how absolutely sucky broadcast radio is. I know you think you know that it sucks. I thought so to. But I just didn't realize how horrid it had become until I had a wealth of listening options in my car. Just the thought of yet another inane "radio personality" (I refuse to use the term DJ... they're not) screaching at me makes me shutter. And if I have to go somewhere in my wife's car (sans XM)... ugh.

    As far as a merger... well, I must admit that I'm a bit miffed with their exclusive sports contracts right now. XM has (or will have) Major League Baseball and Sirius has (or will have) NFL. I'd love to have both, but not if I have to get two sets of equipment and pay two subscription charges.

    I think most of the rest of the programming (Stern and company excluded) is mostly duplicated between the two. The music selections are very similar as is much of the other programming.

    Right now, I think they need to grow the subscriber base and I don't know as if the competition between XM and Sirius helps matters. I've heard a lot of people say that they're waiting to see which one survives before jumping on board. That's not a good thing for the long term viability of either one. In the long run, I think a merger would be helpful. They're competing against the status quo and against "free" broadcast radio. That alone should keep rates down. I don't think the XM vs. Sirius competition really means as much.

    -S
  • by Dachannien (617929) on Wednesday January 26, 2005 @11:06PM (#11488628)
    That's an interesting thought, actually. My kneejerk reaction to this story was that regulators would never let such a deal go through (assuming that they were actually pondering such a move), but now that you mention it, this may be one case where competition (at least of this magnitude) is bad for the consumer.

    Specifically, as you've mentioned, XM and Sirius have already split up two entire major sports leagues (MLB on XM, and NFL on Sirius). This sort of exclusive contract bidding limits the listener's options. Imagine if Sony had an exclusive deal with XM for all their music, while Universal had a deal with Sirius. Instantly, the selection of music any satellite radio customer can enjoy becomes significantly limited, and those limitations are based on which service the customer subscribes to. This isn't like iTunes versus Napster - a person can buy some music from either one, and doesn't have to pay a subscription fee.

    While admittedly given the state of today's music, this might not be such a horrible thing, in general, exclusive contracts affecting subscriber services hurts the consumer. And fierce competition in an emerging market seems to be the root cause of a problem that quite possibly could grow if satellite radio becomes popular with Joe Anyperson.

  • Hoax (Score:2, Interesting)

    by ackthpt (218170) * on Wednesday January 26, 2005 @11:15PM (#11488694) Homepage Journal
    Don't worry. .. It's a Hoax ..

    Cripes. I read about it this morning and could see it wasn't even remotely likely as it would have to cut the mustard with the feds, i.e.:

    It's Ok for there to be a monopoly if one goes out of business, but not Ok if the only two merge.

    That aside... that's the Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) logo up there in the corner. WTF does the defunct maker of Vaxen and PDP's have to do with satellite radio????

  • by rfc1394 (155777) <Paul@paul-robinson.us> on Wednesday January 26, 2005 @11:47PM (#11488962) Homepage Journal
    In addition to running a series of about 60 music channels of their own, Dish Network carries about 68 from Sirius Satellite Network as well. So even if XM and Sirius do merge, Dish Network would still probably carry their channels as well. As long as they don't provide a video service, neither XM nor Sirius is truly any kind of competitor to Dish Network or DirectTV. As Dish Network has realized, an audio service can be a compliment to their offerings, not a competitor. An audio-only service is not a competitor to a video service. Dish Network, DirectTV and your local cable TV franchise are competitors, but XM and Sirius are not.
  • by benna (614220) <mimenarrator@g m a i l .com> on Thursday January 27, 2005 @12:06AM (#11489134) Journal
    I don't know what your talking about. I hate top 40. Sirius has "Sirius Disorder," which might be the best radio station ever to exist. They play ANYTHING. They give their DJs on that station total control. One song might be REM, the next, opera.
  • Re:Someone please (Score:3, Interesting)

    by hobo2k (626482) on Thursday January 27, 2005 @06:54AM (#11490826) Journal
    Yeah, this is very sad. Viewing the Digital category takes you on a quick time warp back to 1998. It is filled with articles like "End Of The Line For Alpha", "VAX Users See the Writing on the Wall", and finally articles posted by people who have no idea what DEC was.

    Rest in peace DEC.

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