Sirius has had the NFL for years. Every year investors wait with baited breath for the NFL on Sirius ads to begin. Each year brings disappointment as very few ads are ever seen. The NFL kicks off the 2008 regular season on Thursday, Sept. 4 and there should have been, as there should have been for years now, a major campaign of "every team, every game!" It worked well for XM in the second quarter as we witnessed better than expected numbers. I attribute those numbers to a well run campaign to inform the masses of their MLB offering. I can still hear Big Poppy saying in that strong Latino accent; "read my lips, every GAIN!"
I have seen dozens of Direct TV ads for the start of the NFL season. Most people however have cable television and have very limited options when it comes to listening to their favorite teams. There are tens of millions of "out-of-market" NFL fans who do not subscribe to Direct TV. As a Dolphin fan who lives in the Northeast, this is one of my favorite things about Sirius....especially this time of year. The boys come over on Sundays and we barbecue and listen to the game on the back deck, shoot hoops or entertain the masses....
Yet not one commercial has been played. Not one print ad has been spotted. Sirius is fumbling the ball on this one, again. The popularity of fantasy football leagues has broadened even further the opportunity for Sirius XM to cash in on this very expensive NFL deal. With an estimated 35 million out-of-market fans, Sirius is passing on $5.5 BILLION in potential annual subscription revenue.
There are two places I know of to learn that Sirius XM has every NFL game. Sirius.com and NFL.com. Of course, you have to fish around the NFL.com website to find the radio link that links to Sirius, which of course you would have to be looking for to spot. And if not for a few mentions in conjunction with the signing of Chris "Mad Dog" Russo, another NFL season will kick off while others pay Direct TV $275.00 extra for football season, while the $12.95 Sirius option remains unknown to most fans.
It seems to me that if Sirius had no involvement with XM prior to the merger, that they should have had plenty of time to develop a marketing campaign directed towards the 2008 NFL season. If the merger had not been approved, it would have only been prudent that a forward looking business plan should have been put into place. The merger should not prevent Sirius from aggressively marketing one its most prominent content exclusives to increase productivity in the third quarter. It certainly did not stop XM.
Hopefully in writing this I have handed the ball to Sirius XM. Its now up to them to run with it.
Position: Long SIRI