In a filing with the FCC Sirius and XM outlined in greater detail the benefits of A-La-Carte pricing plans. The satellite radio carriers state the following:
1. "CONSUMERS WILL HAVE MORE CHOICE OVER WHAT THEY RECEIVE AND THE MARKET WILL DICTATE WHAT IS OFFERED"
Sirius and XM state that they will offer both a-la-carte as well as smaller packages. The packages can be offered because of cost savings, synergies, and the fact that a less expensive satellite radio option should generate a wider subscriber base as it makes satellite radio not only more affordable, but targets a consumers ability to choose the programming they want.
2. "THE A-LA-CARTE AND OTHER PACKAGES OFFERED BY THE COMBINED COMPANY WILL PROVIDE CONSUMERS MORE CONTROL OVER PROGRAMMING AND THE OPTION TO ONLY PAY FOR THE PROGRAMMING THEY WANT"
Consumers will have many choices from which to design their own channel line up. Consumers who feel that some content is objectionable can not only block that channel, but also do not have to pay for such a channel. This is accomplished through family friendly programming and the ability to block channels.
3. "CONSUMER CHOICE WILL LEAD TO PROGRAMMING DECISIONS THAT ARE INFORMED BY THE MARKET, LEADING TO MORE PROGRAMMING THAT CONSUMERS VALUE"
Because consumers will have choices, the combined company will be better able to determine market sentiment on various programming options. A-La-Carte gives the combined company a "real-time" survey of what consumers are listening to.
The filing goes on to point out that in particular, A-La-Carte programming has the potential to deliver to a consumer true value in their service in an across the board nature. The filing also points out the serious flaw in the NAB argument that the cost per channel is more expensive. For the NAB to come to that conclusion, they would have to believe that consumers value each channel the same. Realistically, this is not the case. Would the NAB value the number one terrestrial radio station in New Your the same as the least popular station. Of course not.
The merger of Sirius and XM is fast approaching 1 year since announcement. It is time for the DOJ and FCC to come to their decisions. The consumers have spoken, shareholders have spoken, the time is here for regulators to decide.
Position - Long Sirius, Long XM