While the news that Sirius satellite radio Shock Jock Bubba The Love Sponge was well received by fans, the news may not be quite so welcomed by investors. Bubba The Love Sponge is no longer exclusive to Sirius. As we reported earlier today, Bubba will also be available on terrestrial radio via a seven figure deal with Cox Communications. I had heard scuttlebut about Cox several weeks ago, and heard grumblings that a dual deal was a possibility as recently as last week, but there was still a lot of uncertainty. Today the news was confirmed.
The Cox deal has Bubba doing a morning drive show that will be broadcast in two Florida Markets. From a fan perspective, it is good to know that bubba will remain a staple in the Howard Stern line-up, but there also has to be a tinge of worry. Doing two 4 hour shows each day is demanding, and one has to wonder if some of the freshness and spontaneity that makes the current Bubba show what it is will disappear as the on air hours pile up. You can't blame Bubba for taking the dollars though.
If the Bubba show on Sirius suffers, the blame will rest solely on the Sirius satellite radio negotiating team for allowing the deal to get to a point where it is no longer exclusive.
As an investor, I am disappointed in this type of deal. I was against it when XM allowed Opie & Anthony to be non exclusive as well. I simply believe that giving up exclusivity bears it's own cost, and takes away from the value of satellite radio. It is something that I would prefer not to see happen. Musical content is available anywhere. Talk and sports programming need to be as exclusive as possible.
So while I am happy for Bubba and his fans on the new Sirius extension, I am personally taking a "dump on this deal" from an investor perspective. In my opinion Sirius messed this up badly. Let's hope that Bubba and the crew are not spread too thin in more ways than one.
Position - Long Sirius, Long XM