XM, Sirius Rumors Finally Bear Fruit As Companies Announce Plan To Merge
from the took-you-long-enough dept
Rumors of a merger between XM and Sirius have been around for pretty much as long as the two companies have been operating — and now, they’re finally true. The two companies plan to merge and meld together their content offerings and technical platforms to create a single satellite-radio provider. The biggest obstacle to the plans is the FCC approval required for it to move ahead, and FCC chair Kevin Martin has made comments in the past that make it look like he wouldn’t approve such a deal. The problem is the way that the FCC looks at competition in this space: XM and Sirius aren’t each others’ only competitors, they also compete with terrestrial radio (whose broadcasters are certain to try and block the plan), online radio, and plenty of other outlets. It’s a concept that perhaps even XM and Sirius themselves haven’t always grasped, but one they’ll be hoping the FCC understands. While a merger probably gives the two companies their best chance of success, it’s far from a magic bullet. They still face the unfriendly economics of running a satellite-based business, and will still carry the burden of paying out on the high-dollar exclusive deals they’ve signed with celebrities and sports leagues. But perhaps an even bigger challenge will be getting all those Howard Stern and Opie & Anthony fans to play nice together.