SiriusBuzz All Things SiriusXM Satellite Radio Mon, 28 Jul 2014 17:05:30 +0000 en-US hourly 1 SiriusXM Kicks Off NFL Training Camp Season Coverage Fri, 25 Jul 2014 12:40:17 +0000 → Read More]]> wpid-nfl-logo.jpgSiriusXM will kick off its 10th annual SiriusXM NFL Radio Training Camp Tour today, July 25, broadcasting live from all 32 NFL teams’ training camps and giving fans the most comprehensive radio coverage available as the 2014 NFL season approaches.  Football has been a satellite radio staple since the early days of the service and the coverage offered is something that passionate fans of football have gravitated to for years.  Seeing the top caliber coverage continue is a testament to SiriusXM as well as the NFL.

SiriusXM NFL Radio hosts will broadcast live on location from each training camp site, giving listeners around the country an in-depth look at their favorite teams and players as they prepare for the coming season. The series will present an expert breakdown of every roster, interviews with players, coaches, and reports on rookies and veterans. A schedule detailing show times, hosts and locations appears at

Hosts on tour include former NFL team executives Bill Polian, Gil Brandt, Pat Kirwan and Phil Savage, former players Rich Gannon, Jim Miller, Ross Tucker, Amani Toomer, Anthony “Booger” McFarland, Takeo Spikes and Brad Hopkins, plus Alex Marvez, Bob Papa, Bruce Murray, Jeff Rickard, and more.

On Saturday, August 2, SiriusXM NFL Radio will present live coverage from the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, OH, for the 2014 enshrinement ceremonies. Listeners will hear coverage of the induction of the class of 2014, which includes Derrick Brooks, Ray Guy, Claude Humphrey, Walter Jones, Andre Reed, Michael Strahan and Aeneas Williams.

Yes, it is the middle of summer, but these days, football is a year round news topic for the ever-growing passionate fan base of the NFL.  It wont be long before we start to see pre-season games, and then the regular season!  Stay Tuned!

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SiriusXM In Hot Water Over Mailing Envelopes Mon, 21 Jul 2014 18:13:36 +0000 → Read More]]> gavel-handSiriusXM has had its share of spats with consumer advocate groups regarding marketing practices over the years.  There have also been a handful of lawsuits centered around people receiving unwanted communications from the satellite radio provider, and suits complaing that SiriusXM is obtaining personal information about car buyers.  This latest lawsuit takes the cake though — SiriusXM is being hauled into court for allegedly stealing the patented envelope design of CCAH.

You may not have heard of CCAH, but you have likely seen their envelopes.  The company designs and markets their “Urgent Gram” envelops to many companies across the United States.  Essentially it is an envelope designed to look very official.  The official look of the envelope almost ensures that a greater number of people will actually open it.  CCAH is a direct marketing powerhouse and over the past 7 years over 8 million “Urgent Gram” envelopes have been shipped.

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The photo above shows a depiction of what a typical CCAH “Urgent Gram” looks like.  As you can see, the envelope itself does not really offer the consumer an indication of what is inside.  The design relies on a persons natural curiosity to open up the envelope and find out what is so urgent and official.  Like it or not, the design and concept is pretty slick and likely very effective at increasing the odds of a consumer opening the envelope instead of simply tossing it in the trash as yet another piece of junk mail.

CCAH makes its money when clients pay to use the design.  Since 1996 CCAH has grossed about $22 million on the mailing of 21 million envelopes.  SiriusXM must have thought the idea was a good one and emulated the design for its own marketing efforts.

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The big problem here is that SiriusXM (they may have hired a marketing company, who would be the ultimate culprit) did not bother to change details like the “package tracking number”, The “Special Notes On Enclosure”, or even the initials “KC” of the “person” that sent out the urgent notice.  It would appear that SiriusXM has gotten itself into a little hot water on this one!

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SiriusXM Announces More Share Buy-Backs Wed, 16 Jul 2014 12:19:04 +0000 → Read More]]> money-cash-up-arrow-line SiriusXM has announced that its Board of Directors has approved an additional $2 billion common stock repurchase program.  In total, the share buy-back program now carries an overall value of $6 billion.

The announcement did not state whether Liberty Media, the majority holder of SiriusXM share would participate in the program, but did list it as an option.

If Liberty does not participate its ownership percentage would increase as shares are removed from the market.  I anticipate that Liberty Media and SiriusXM will negotiate some transactions that could buy back shares from Liberty.  This would, in effect, allow Liberty to gain some cash from its SiriusXM stake without having to dip below 50% ownership.

Shares of common stock may be purchased from time to time on the open market and in privately negotiated transactions, including in accelerated stock repurchase transactions and transactions with Liberty Media and its affiliates.  The Company will fund the repurchases through cash on hand, future cash flow from operations and future borrowings.

SiriusXM’s Board of Directors approved a $2 billion common stock repurchase program in December 2012 and supplemented that authorization with the approval of an additional $2 billion common stock repurchase program in October 2013.  The new approval increases to an aggregate of $6 billion the amount of common stock SiriusXM has been authorized to repurchase.

The announcement of the extension of the repurchase program reflects the Board’s desire to continue to return value to stockholders and its confidence in the long-term growth prospects of the Company’s business.  SiriusXM retains sufficient capital capacity to continue making long-term investments in its programming, research and development initiatives and overall operations, as well as to pursue strategic opportunities that may arise.

The news of continued share buy-backs was well received by the street and the amount of shares being repurchased is impressive.  SiriusXM stock has been very stagnant in 2014, and perhaps this is the best way, at the moment, to increase shareholder value.

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Live Nation Partners With Yahoo To Air Concerts Mon, 14 Jul 2014 18:25:09 +0000 → Read More]]> livenationIf you thought that Liberty Media’s interest in SiriusXM and Live Nation would bring about some synergistic qualities you may well be wrong — at least at this stage.  In a deal announced Friday, Live Nation is broadcasting an impressive 365 concerts on it Yahoo! channel on Yahoo Screen.  The concept is simple.  Live Nation has some desired music content video and Yahoo provides the outlet for it.  The deal brings added exposure to both companies.  Meanwhile SiriusXM is remaining a service dominated by satellite streaming of music while not seizing web based opportunity.

The live concert streams will kick off on July 15 with “A Very Special Evening with Dave Matthews Band” at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena. The show will feature the group delivering two sets, performing together in numerous electric and acoustic configurations in a reinvention of the traditional DMB summer evening.

Additional artists confirmed for the new channel include: Usher, Gavin DeGraw, Common, The Neighbourhood, MKTO, The Kooks, Airborne Toxic Event, Three Days Grace, The Fray and many more. The Live Nation Channel on Yahoo Screen will also feature special performances including:

  • Recent Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees, KISS, streaming live from their 40th Anniversary Tour;
  • John Legend performing Marvin Gaye’s classic album, “What’s Going On” in its entirety, with Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings and the Los Angeles Philharmonic live from the Hollywood Bowl; and
  • Justin Timberlake and the Tennessee Kids performing their first ever concert in Reykjavik, Iceland.

The Live Nation Channel on Yahoo Screen fuses together global superstars and emerging artists across genres, from rock to pop, hip hop to electronic.  Is it just me, or would this have been a natural fit video broadcasting on SiriusXM’s website while simulcasting on select channels or perhaps, dare I say it, a Live Nation channel on SiriusXM? What  would be better than giving people a sample of what satellite radio can be all about, while keeping existing users on SiriusXM instead of seeing them drift off elsewhere to get the content they want?  The cross-promotion opportunities would be almost endless!

Music fans can get a sneak peak at the first 30 days of scheduled performances by going to Starting Monday, July 14, they can sign up for text, email and calendar reminders for the concerts they want to watch — and invite their friends to tune in, as well. Fans will have the freedom to stream concerts wherever they are through Yahoo Screen on iOS, Android, mobile Web, desktop, and Smart TV platforms including AppleTV, Roku and Xbox 360.

Live moments are the most memorable — whether it’s your favorite band’s performance of a lifetime, that amazing last-second goal that crowns the world champion, or an unforgettable acceptance speech that goes viral. And in today’s on-demand entertainment environment, live experiences are the only ones that we all share together, at the same time,” said Kathy Savitt, CMO of Yahoo. “Together with Live Nation, we are excited to bring millions of fans together to share these moments through the new Yahoo Live experience.”

Can you imagine SiriusXM as the platform for music discovery, band discovery, and social interaction?  There was a day when this seemed quite possible, but I fear it is evaporating before my eyes.  When the proposed deal with Liberty Media was announced in January I was having to hold myself back from getting too excited about the wealth of possibility.  Perhaps it can still happen, but as yet SiriusXM has not seemed to take a big step like this.  Consider the statement below:

Live Nation produces more than 23,000 annual shows for 60 million fans globally. With the Live Nation Channel on Yahoo we are bringing these amazing artists with great production to the 800 million monthly Yahoo fans. This channel will create a powerful new way for artists to continue to grow their global fanbase,” said Michael Rapino, CEO of Live Nation Entertainment.

In addition to the biggest collection of concert live streams available on the Web, the Live Nation Channel and Yahoo Screen will feature an on-demand catalog of songs on video and hundreds of insider vignettes including behind-the-scenes footage, artist interviews and more.  Again, this would have been a tremendous way to bring SiriusXM to the masses.  Perhaps in due time.

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Jenny McCarthy To Join SiriusXM Mon, 14 Jul 2014 14:53:19 +0000 → Read More]]> Jenny Being Dirty, Sexy, and Funny!SiriusXM announced today that Jenny McCarthy will host a live, limited-run, one-hour weekly series exclusively on SiriusXM starting on Wednesday, July 16 on SiriusXM Stars.  The satellite radio provider is ramping up the talk content pressure by adding compelling content that differentiates itself from other services.

In her new series, Dirty, Sexy, Funny with Jenny McCarthy, McCarthy will use her trademark humor and outspoken style to discuss topics such as parenting, sex, dating and marriage; inviting celebrity guests and friends, as well as the audience to jump into the conversation with her. Guests scheduled to appear include Chelsea Handler, Perez Hilton, and Jenny’s fiance Donnie Wahlberg.  There will certainly be more high profile guests along the way, and don’t look for Jenny to hold anything back!

“It’s no secret that I love to talk. I’m excited to do it on SiriusXM without having to interrupt anyone or keep things clean. You can bet your sweet ass this show will live up to its title,” said Jenny McCarthy.

The comments from SiriusXM management are encouraging but will likely have fans of Opie & Anthony scratching their heads, seeing that SiriusXM fired Anthony Cumia on July 3rd for an incident that did not even happen on the air!

“Jenny’s no holds barred style and playful personality is sure to entertain listeners. We are excited to welcome her and offer her a platform to have uncensored, unscripted conversations about the topics she’s passionate about,” said Scott Greenstein, President and Chief Content Officer, SiriusXM.

Dirty, Sexy, Funny with Jenny McCarthy will air each Wednesday, starting July 16, at 6:00 pm ET on SiriusXM Stars.

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Opie With Jim Norton? Mon, 14 Jul 2014 13:04:20 +0000 → Read More]]> 7-11 oajToday marks the first day that the Opie and Anthony Show has aired a live show since the firing of Anthony Cumia.  This weekend I noticed that the channel art on my iPod registered the channel as “SiriusXM TALK” instead of the Opie and Anthony Channel.  That switch has not made it to the SiriusXM website as yet.  What I noticed this morning is that the show was titled “Opie With Jim Norton”.

Though I only got to listen to the early part of the show this morning, there is certainly a bit of sadness in the air.  Opie and Jim were the subject of the rantings of many fans that besiege the duo to leave the air and Join Anthony in the podcast realm.  While that is certainly an option, it would not come without repercussions.  Both Opie and Jim are UNDER CONTRACT until October.  This essentially means that they could not simply walk away without harsh financial consequences.

Further, I HIGHLY DOUBT that Anthony would want the pair to do such a thing.  I know that fans are still hurt by the forced break-up, but in the end we all just have to let things play out.  Yes, some have cancelled their subscriptions in disgust, but fans should know that this transitional period will at some point get resolved in one way or another.

Opie stated that he had not really communicated with Anthony about the podcast since the firing, but does wish him well.  It is clear that the words uttered by Opie and Jim Norton are measured and that perhaps some discussion is simply off of the table at this stage.  Clearly the show is being listened to by the top brass at SiriusXM, and the last thing these guys need is to bring more heat upon themselves.

I suspect that Opie and Jim Norton need to avoid the creation of a new show away from SiriusXM at this stage.  Opie did indicate that he felt that the door for a possible return of Anthony may be slightly open.  That may be wishful thinking.  Knowing Anthony, and knowing the shows stance on meaningless apologies, I think that heels are now dug in and with each passing day the door closes even more.

Fans certainly have opinions on the matter, and it will take some time to see what overall fan reaction is to life on channel 103 without Anthony.  Certainly there was a void this morning.  O & A were together for 20 years.  Jim has been associated with the show for years now.  The show contract finishes in October and it will be quite interesting to see if Opie and Jim continue on.  In the meantime, give it a few weeks to let the sting subside.  The show will not be the same, but it will still be some of the most compelling content on SiriusXM.  Stay Tuned!

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June Auto Sales Are Positive For Satellite Radio Fri, 11 Jul 2014 17:48:56 +0000 → Read More]]> oem channelJune 2014 auto sales are in and the numbers remain quite positive for satellite radio.  Sales this June were 1% better than a year ago and the overall pace for 2014 is still above 16 million units.  With satellite radio being installed in nearly 70% of new cars, the potential to still see a little growth from the new car channel still exists.  June 2014 sales came it at just above 1.4 million.  With half of the year gone, the total sales in 2014 are now at 8.14 million.  Sales for the most recent quarter stood at an impressive 4.4 million.

For SiriusXM satellite radio installations in new cars remains important, but the real fuel for growth is more likely to come from the used car channel.  That said, new cars today will be used cars in the coming years.  The more of these cars that are satellite equipped, the better.  Looking forward to July sales, we should anticipate that they will not be as strong as June, but a similar 1% increase would mean that we can expect in the neighborhood of 1.33 million.

About half of the sales represented in any given month are from manufacturers that do not pay for the service in the free trial.  These trials can become potential subs usually 3 or 4 months after the sale.  SiriusXM is typically successful in converting about 42% to self paying.  Stay Tuned!

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SiriusXM To Announce Q2 Results July 29th Wed, 09 Jul 2014 16:25:52 +0000 → Read More]]> quarterly resultsSiriusXM will announce Q2 2014 financial results on Tuesday, July 29, 2014 at 8:00 AM.  The company typically releases financials shorty before the call, and the pre-market call is standard.

Analysts are expecting the company to announce a profit of 2 cents a share on revenue of about $1 Billion.  In 2014, the company has shifted focus away from some traditional metrics and some transparency that investors used to have is either gone or so new that a good assessment is still challenging.

The equity has seen its stock gap down over the holiday weekend and slide into the $3.30′s.  Investors have had a frustrating year with the equity and certainly the street will be paying close attention to exactly how the company intends to continue growth.   Stay Tuned!

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SiriusXM Just Made Podcasts and Other Music Services More Relevant Wed, 09 Jul 2014 16:13:11 +0000 → Read More]]> PodcastWith the firing of Anthony Cumia from the Opie and Anthony Show, SiriusXM has started down a very dangerous path that could ultimately help other audio entertainment mediums gain traction from ex-SiriusXM subscribers.

In the early days of satellite, the concept was novel and engaging.  It was the little guy (satellite radio) against the big machine (terrestrial radio).  SiriusXM was new, relevant, diverse, and free while terrestrial radio was tired, old, homogenized and static.  It appears, in many ways, that SiriusXM has “grown up” to become the very thing it was fighting against and the firing of Cumia simply makes that transition visible, even though the transition has been happening for a few years now.

Channels that were very niche have been removed in favor of channels that carry more listener potential.  Howard Stern is down to a 3 day work week and more vacation days than the average person gets in 3 years.  The activities on the “shock-jock channels have been limited more and more, and it even got to the point where Opie and Anthony could not even play a clip from the Stern Show.

On the music front, specialized DJ’s with a focus in a genre were let go in favor of DJ’s that would do 3 or even 4 shows ranging from easy listening to heavy rock.  Yes, satellite radio still has great content, but the service is slowly but surely forcing consumers to branch out.

Podcasting is nothing new, but it is gaining momentum.  Perhaps one of the more noteworthy and famous podcasters is Adam Carolla.  Here is what he had to say about the firing of Cumia:

“I feel bad that Anthony got shit-canned, I hate this world that we’ve created where everyone just s***-cans everyone for everything. I think there’s a way that we can disagree with what he said or the language that he used but still make that his choice. His words and his experience. And move on from it. I don’t like this thing where it’s like: we don’t like you because you said this and you used those words, and now you must be relieved of your livelihood.

Either way, we have built a pirate ship here and we can never be fired. That’s the good news. Secondly, it is scary to me when the people who go off to become the alternative — the SiriusXM, satellite, the hey, this is our uncensored world. That was part of the sell, right? We get to say f***, we get to say c***, we can say what we want. We don’t have to worry about the FCC. It’s weird when the people who break off to fight against the man become the man. And it sounds to me like SiriusXM has become the man.”

Whether or not you like Anthony Cumia is not the issue.  Whether or not you agree or disagree with what he said is not the issue.  The issue here is that SiriusXM has started down a path that will present more and more problems as time passes.  Where does it stop?  If Niclole from the Morning Mash-Up says the wrong thing wheat will happen?  If Ron Bennington steps out of line this weekend, what will happen.  If Gary from the Stern Show gets a little too liberal with language will he be fired?  What If Howard Stern appeared in BlackFace and made racial statements… oh… he did that!

SiriusXM is walking the fine line of trying to be politically correct for everyone when what they should be doing is marketing themselves as a celebration in diversity, varied opinion, and standing proud of the fact that they can be a platform for controversial things that traditional audio entertainment outlets will not touch.

Anthony Cumia is one man.  His opinions will not resonate with everyone.  The fact of the matter is that if anyone’s opinions were to resonate with everyone you would likely have a stale and boring show.  The company fired Cumia, on July 3rd, yet, it was just today, July 9th that the company removed Cumia’s Twitter feed from its own website and even now, with those edits in place, the channel still describes the show in the following manner:

Outrageous, edgy, and unpredictable are just a few of the words used to describe Opie & Anthony. But the show is much more than shock and awe. Incisive commentary, awkward encounters, celebrity guests, and regular visits from the world’s top comics make it must-listen morning entertainment. Listen live weekdays at 6:30 am ET, with replays throughout the day.

Anthony Cumia will be starting a podcast titled “Live From The Compound” and certainly will get a good following.  There are many passionate fans that are cancelling their subscriptions to SiriusXM and plan on following Cumia to the world of Podcasts.  Cumia has not yet determined the platform, but rest assured, the addition of Cumia to any service will get traction overnight.

Adding to the drama is the fact that the Opie & Anthony Show on SiriusXM has its contract expire in just a few months.  There is a distinct possibility that we could see the entire show make the migration.  If that happens, the edgy talk content on SiriusXM will be substantially less attractive as an offering.  Yes, Ron & Fez, Stern, Jay Thomas, and Jason Ellis will still be on SiriusXM, but aside from Stern, these other talented individuals do not have the same name recognition as the O & A show.

The next few weeks will be quite interesting.  It will be also interesting to see what SiriusXM does the next time a talent on its airwaves says something considered “over the line”.  Stay Tuned!

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The Day That Satellite Radio Died – SiriusXM Fires Anthony Cumia Mon, 07 Jul 2014 23:48:11 +0000 → Read More]]> 7-7 anthonyIn 1971 Don McLean released a song that turned out to be an American classic.  The Day The Music Died (American Pie) was a tribute to Buddy Holly, but was also a song that made people think of better times, simpler times, and times when the human race was more “real”.  When satellite radio first started, it was a breath of fresh air.  Hundreds of channels under one roof that stepped away from homogenized radio, celebrated diversity, and most of all gave the average person some sort of content that they could enjoy even if others thought it odd.

Rock, Punk, Alternative, R & B, disco, country, jazz, folk, blues, and anything else you can think of were represented.  Shock jocks, conservative talk, liberal talk, news, women’s programming, gay and lesbian programming, Latino programming, black programming, religious programming, sports programming and anything under the sun could be found on SiriusXM’s airwaves.

On July 3rd, 2014 satellite radio died.  The satellite radio company fired Anthony Cumia of the Opie & Anthony Show for comments that Cumia made on his personal Twitter Account.  The comments were said to be racist.  The irony is in the official statement issued by SiriusXM.

“SiriusXM has terminated its relationship with Anthony Cumia of the Opie & Anthony channel. The decision was made, and Cumia informed, late Thursday, July 3 after careful consideration of his racially-charged and hate-filled remarks on social media,” Sirius XM said in a statement. “Those remarks and postings are abhorrent to SiriusXM, and his behavior is wholly inconsistent with what SiriusXM represents.”

How can the comments be inconsistent with what SiriusXM represents when in fact SiriusXM represents EVERYTHING… or at least used to.  SiriusXM missed what could have been a defining moment.  The sad part is that the company could not see this opportunity.  What the SiriusXM Comment Should have been:

SiriusXM is a satellite radio service that celebrates diversity, opinion, differences in opinion and at its core believes that everyone is entitled to an opinion.  SiriusXM exists as the sole satellite radio platform that allows varied opinions to be expressed in a manner that is simply not available elsewhere.  SiriusXM and in fact listeners may not agree with certain stances, but the company stands behind the freedom to express that opinion.  Some people may be offended by comments made by Anthony Cumia on his personal Twitter account,  we understand that this may happen from time to time, and in particular with content that is considered controversial.  The bigger issue at hand is our ability to deliver real content that holds true to the freedoms we all believe in.  Mr. Cumia’s statements on Twitter are a reflection on Mr. Cumia alone and not SiriusXM.

The world is getting to be more strange by the moment.  Now, Many readers may not agree with what Anthony Cumia said, but that is not the point.  The point is that SiriusXM has now allowed an outside influence dictate its own actions.

What we need to remember is that Cumia was on his own time and on his own Twitter account.  This incident was not on SiriusXM property nor was it being conducted in the context of the show.  Could Cumia have been more politically correct?  Sure.  However, why is it that EVERYTHING needs to be SOOOOO politically correct these days?

To be crystal clear, I want to state that I do not agree with some of what was stated.  My issue is that SiriusXM allowed this to undermine the very foundation of what made satellite radio great.  What is next?  Will a priest be fired from the Catholic Channel for telling someone that they are a sinner at Sunday Mass outside of their official duties?  Will Jay Z content get removed for racism?  Will Bieber songs fall off of the playlist because of racism?  SiriusXM should have simply stayed above the fray.  The fact that the company did not, is a shame.

In the end SiriusXM will likely lose yet another staple of content that differentiates it from everything else.  Just a few years ago people used to say that other companies were trying to be like SiriusXM.  Sadly, today, the opposite is true.  SiriusXM is bending over backwards to be more like every other company out there.

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