Satellite radio retail sales are an aspect of the sector that has been perceived weak for quite some. In fact, through the first quarter of 2008, the retail channel for satellite radio is negative 49,000 units on a net basis (after churn is considered). NPD, a company that tracks retail sales at participating retailers has been a barometer of sorts for retail activity for quite some time.

According to NPD, the retail channel in SDARS for April of 2008 was a mixed bag. On one hand, Sirius got a positive year over year comparison for the first time since August of 2006. On the other, XM's sales were still down on a year over year basis. According to NPD, Sirius sales were about 3% better in April of 2008 than they were in April of 2007. Sirius also captured 69% of the satellite radio sales for the month. For XM, the April 2008 performance was down by about 37% when compared to last year. As a whole, the sector sales were down 13%.

The trend, which was improving on an overall satellite radio basis dipped slightly this month. Last month, the dip was 11% and this month the dip was 13%. For Sirius the shift was into positive territory going from a negative 3% last month to a positive 3% this month. For XM it was more dramatic. Last month XM's NPD sales were off by 22% while this month that figure was 37%.

This new data represents 32 consecutive months that Sirius has garnered a larger NPD share than XM.

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position - Long Sirius, Long XM