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  1. #1
    zcurzan is offline
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    New Company Name

    As I understand it, XM legally is to be incorporated as a subsidiary under Sirius. Do we know that Sirius will be the name of the combined company? Obviously Sirius has a lot of brand recognition out there, but does anyone see the benefits of the XM tag (ie. versus AM FM) It just seems edgier or something...

  2. #2
    homer985 is offline
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    As I understand it, Sirius will be the name of one brand -- and the name of the parent company. Meanwhile, XM will be the name of the "other" brand -- and a subsidiary of Sirius.

    It makes no sense to rename XM, or Sirius for that matter, as brand names. Billions have been spent establishing two brands that are distinctly different from each other. Then after the merger, even if there is some consolidation of the programming, there will still be a number of differences in the services -- both in programming and distribution -- that if the Sirius name is attached to both, it will likely cause considerable confusion. By both continuing to lock in "exclusive" contracts with the OEM's, they pretty much sealed the deal that there will continue to be two brands.


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    zcurzan is offline
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    But in the long term, (5-10 years) wouldn't it make sense to retire one brand and consolidate it into the other, or rebrand the two together into a entirely new name? It's going to be one service afterall once they get past the dual broadcast on both satellites of select material, abandon one of the constellations.

  4. #4
    homer985 is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by zcurzan View Post
    But in the long term, (5-10 years) wouldn't it make sense to retire one brand and consolidate it into the other, or rebrand the two together into a entirely new name? It's going to be one service afterall once they get past the dual broadcast on both satellites of select material, abandon one of the constellations.
    I don't think you guys are following me here... the fact is, it is not going to be one service. Not for a long time.

    Keep in mind, there are over 9.5 million active XM receivers and 9.0 million active Sirius receivers -- plus millions of inactive receivers. XM likely has 15 million legacy receivers; and Sirius 13 million. These 28 million receivers CANNOT receive each others broadcasted content. As long as there are significant numbers of active receivers that are not "dual" -- there will be an issue with different content for each service.

    Here's what I mean... Sirius has NFL, NBA and NASCAR, XM subscribers are not going to have access to this content with current receivers -- partly because of the increase in costs that it would be to XM to add it, but mostly because of the issue of no more bandwidth available for this content to begin with; the same goes for Sirius... XM has MLB, NHL and more... Sirius subscribers will not have access to this content with current receivers. Do you realize how much bandwidth MLB coverage on a typical evening uses??? There is no way that Sirius has this kind of bandwidth available for carriage of MLB... nor will they want to take on the increased costs -- as MLB will not just allow their games to be added to Sirius for free. It's going to cost.

    What it comes down to is that if the company had one name -- you'd have "two" Sirius' that get different content. One would get NFL and the other would get MLB, for example. Thus the confusion. And this is the way it will have to be -- for as long as there are significant numbers of non-dual receivers... which could be for a very long time. The last thing you want is to create confusion.

    When you say it's going to be "one service" -- to me it sounds like you think the company will now have 25MHz of bandwidth to spread out their content over -- but that is by far not the case. The company still has two 12.5MHz blocks, for them to spread out their content. There is going to be repetition over these blocks, where content is duplicated over both -- otherwise older legacy receivers will lose programming.

    With this in mind -- recall all over the hoopla raised by Congress regarding not allowing legacy receivers to become obsolete because of this merger... and recall all of Karmazins statements in response. Then lastly, recall the "guarantee" posted by both Sirius and XM -- stating that legacy receivers will NOT become obsolete.

    They have no choice but to maintain two seperate brands.



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    Last edited by homer985; 07-10-2008 at 06:32 PM.

  5. #5
    rjr is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by homer985 View Post
    By both continuing to lock in "exclusive" contracts with the OEM's, they pretty much sealed the deal that there will continue to be two brands.
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    Homer, do you really believe the car companies aren't going to want to offer both XM and Sirius in some sort of interoperable radio as soon as possible? I can't believe GM's contract with XM will keep them from offering Sirius' band in an interoperable radio. I would think the car companies would be very interested in that- yea, I guess there will have to be an amendment of the contracts with regards to revenue sharing, but I'm sure that can be worked out- Now, since this merger has taken so long, it may be awhile before radios capable of receiving both signals ends up in the cars themselves.

  6. #6
    homer985 is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by rjr View Post
    Now, since this merger has taken so long, it may be awhile before radios capable of receiving both signals ends up in the cars themselves.
    Thus is my point... with GM having over 6 million (and growing) legacy receivers that can't get Sirius programming... are they just going to change the name of it to Sirius anyhow?

    Here's a hypothetical... a car buyer goes in and buys a new Chevy next May, here's a conversation...

    Sales rep: "Would you like to add Sirius Satellite Radio in? We'll start you off with free service for awhile..."
    Car buyer: "Sure I'll take that Sirius Satellite... what channel is Howard Stern on?"...
    Sales Rep: "Well Stern isn't on this Sirius"
    Car buyer: "What do you mean this Sirius doesn't get Stern?"... "Stern's been there for 3 years!"... "Okay, well what about NASCAR, I love NASCAR!"
    Sales Rep: "I'm sorry sir, but this Sirius doesn't get NASCAR either"
    Car buyer: "What are you talking about?"
    Sales Rep: "Well, you see..."
    Car buyer: "Nevermind that, how about NFL -- I want to be able to hear my games, what channels are they on?"
    Sales Rep: "Ummm, sorry sir -- but..."
    Car buyer: "Oh nevermind, I'll just get one with a plugin for my Ipod..."
    Confusion settles in... that is the last thing these companies need right now...



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  7. #7
    crfceo is offline
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    I could see a parent company and 2 subsidiaries in the beginning. Maybe they'll take my << SX >>.

    I could see a scenario that would allow the services to be combined into one. You could beam the sirius broadcasts over the xm network, and vice-versa...There would be a delay, but it could be assimilated...
    Last edited by crfceo; 07-10-2008 at 07:17 PM.

  8. #8
    zcurzan is offline
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    I was under the impression that the merger consolidation of channels would give them sufficient wiggle room to simulcast programming such as MLB onto Sirius Channels and Howard onto XM channels, so that you could receive some of the major programming from the other service, without having to actually pick up a dual receiver that tapped into two actual signals.

  9. #9
    homer985 is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by zcurzan View Post
    I was under the impression that the merger consolidation of channels would give them sufficient wiggle room to simulcast programming such as MLB onto Sirius Channels and Howard onto XM channels, so that you could receive some of the major programming from the other service, without having to actually pick up a dual receiver that tapped into two actual signals.
    This is a common misperception... the fact is, you can consolidate all duplicated formats -- but they're still going to take up the same amount of bandwidth on each service. The only way to "free up" bandwidth, is to remove channels from the programming altogether.

    Let me put it this way -- let's say they replace ALL 73 music channels that I count on XM's channel lineup, with the 69 music channels that I count on Sirius'. They will have consolidated 144 music channels all the way down to 69 channels. However, those 69 channels will still need to be simulcasted on BOTH Sirius and XM. You'll take away the 73 XM music channels and replace them with the 69 Sirius music channels. That will free up approximately 4 music channels worth of bandwidth... that is no where near enough bandwidth to provide for the "exclusive" Sirius content to be added on to the XM service. They will have to cut other channels from XM.

    Remember, consolidating music channels doesn't free up bandwidth -- it only cuts costs. The bandwidth is still needed for the Sirius replacement music content to use.

    On a slightly different, but related topic -- I'm not a fan of consolidating the music... as it frees up little to no bandwidth and cuts ZERO dollars from the revenue sharing that SoundExchange gets. The only savings is in cutting staffers and the actual programming/production of the channels -- which is much less than anyone thinks. XM has perhaps 75 programmers/DJ's running their music channels... with an annual salary of less than $5 million combined. The consolidation of music programming will not be some barn burner in cost savings.... but I digress, this is a different topic. Being a programmer, I have a pretty staunch opinion on the topic that I just can't help to express.

    Also note, that if they did consolidate all music to the same offering over both systems -- those that get a "dual" receiver will end up with the same music channels on two sets of channels... seems like a waste, don't it? But what else can Sirius/XM do? Furthermore, doing this loses the appeal of having two different sets of music for listeners to choose from. I'm no fan of this -- but the savings will likely be too tempting for Karmazin. I don't expect very many XM channels to survive this merger... which is disappointing, as I prefer XM's music offering over Sirius. All I can do is cancel my sub if/when that day comes.

    Anyhow, getting back to the topic in this thread -- the only way to free up enough bandwidth on XM for the Sirius "exclusive" content, will be to remove channels altogether. Any suggestions on what XM channels should be dropped? Same goes for Sirius... the only way to free up enough bandwidth for MLB and XM's exclusive content is to cut channels there... got any ideas? You're going to need to cut a lot, FWIW.


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    Last edited by homer985; 07-10-2008 at 08:38 PM.

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