FWIW guys... Karmazin worked with O&A for many years too at Infinity. He defended them often -- but the church scandal was too much, no one could defend what they allowed to happen.
If Mel had any intention of not renewing the contract -- he would not have gone on their show today. I'm sorry if this doesn't jive with those that live to bash O&A... but that's just the way it is. 65 days is not a long time... Karmazin could have just avoided them over the next few weeks, and then they'd be gone. But the fact that he went on their show? A deal is being worked on... I can tell you this, based on my experience as a programmer.
I've worked in the business for 18 years -- they'll be offered a new contract. They'll be low-balled, that's for sure, but they'll be offered a deal. Whether or not they take it... that is the question. Karmazin may also stipulate that they no longer renew any more terrestrial radio deals as part of a new deal with them... but that is just my opinion and knowing how "possessive" Karmazin is, regarding his content.
If they don't come back at the end of September -- then it may be that the contract offer wasn't too good.
I managed to catch most of the re-run of the interview. I have 56 minutes of it now.
Homer, I agree with you. I think that Mel would have avoided the situation completely had he not had plans of resigning them. How much is the question. I know Mel is selfish and does not like to allow content to outsource, but BTLS is doing it, and that is a contract that was done while Mel was already on board, so who knows.
Mel is putting out surprisingly little information post-merger. I know he doesnt have a lot of information about XMs specifics, but surely they have a ton of plans. I would have thought Mel would have come out and announced at least some of those plans immediately to calm down shareholders who just took it in the Rehr with no K-Y.
As per the comment reguarding Stern on XM: It is obvious he wants to "simulcast" Stern on Sirius and XM feeds, probably for an additional fee. He may/may not do the same thing with O/A. Both have very loyal listener bases and fanatic fans and can possibly bring in additional revenue.
Going into a little different direction. I will agree O&A will be offered something to stay, lets not forget they were supposed to be the direct competetion to SIRI and Stern. I believe that many forget that while the codec's are different it would not be that hard to put Stern on XMs codec. I think there is no reason they will not start to cut many things that each did to compete with the other. As an example Martha Stewert and Oprea. You dont need both, or Barbra Walters you absolutly dont need all 3 espeacially when the company now has access to all of it but cant give it to all their customers (13 channels is only so much). I think at least until the interoperable radios are totally out (up to 6 or 7 years) we will see many cuts of double content and a copy run on the other codec. We know there are things such as simul cast that exist.
John, broadcasting to both services is quite simple. In fact with the Live Earth concerts, I beleive all of the transmissions were done by XM and then recycled to Sirius. It is not a difficult task in the least.
I think you will start to see a massive consolidation of content in the next few months. I dont mean elimination, I mean consolidation. I think they will combine multiple channels to get all of the quality content onto one channel, which is simulcast on the other network, and eliminate the others that do not have the listenership. There is no reason to keep Martha and Oprah seperate. Put them on the same channel in different time slots, and eliminate the channel that you had. A more condensed listnership should also command higher advertising costs, so you can charge more to advertisers, and save money by eliminating the unneeded programing.
In an article somewhere here, it is said that they intend on having the Howard channels simulcast to XM listeners for the low cost of $4 per month starting in September. I have not actually seen the PR on this, so don't quote me on it. That is instant revenue right there. I think there are many more options like this that will be announced shortly.
Newman I hear yea the savings are going to be so big. I just read an article from "Investopedia" . I cannot understand, what is it about these people that they just dont get:
It is like they have no clue that cost except for the capex, will at the very least stay the same, and will most likely go down. This guy says that subs need to increase big for them to be able to be profitable. That is wrong because even if they got just 2 million nets a year most of that revenue will go directly to the bottum line. The last few quarters from SIRI should have show them that. XMSR had capex cost that made their lost so bad. That is something XM will not have to deal with and really if things were that bad for SIRI, XMSR said that their newer satellites can carry SIRI programming also. As a matter of fact Mel said on Sterns show, that after the next launch in 2009 they will not be putting up another till 2015. That means they pushed the 2010 (analyst said that would be pushed back to 2012) launch back at least 5 years. That alone saves them about 60 million a year (based on the 15 year life span divided by 900 million).
From the investopedia blog:
Sirius issued $375 million worth of stock on Monday July 28 to help with expenses
This is why I'm saying Mel needs to get on TV and say, this is what we did the stock offering for, this is how it helped the combined company, this is why it not dilutive in the long term.
Hell, write it in the sky with one of those smoke throwing stunt planes.