NEW YORK and WASHINGTON, D.C. — SIRIUS Satellite Radio and XM Satellite Radio announced that the merged company will offer American consumers for the first time the opportunity to choose programming on an a la carte basis. This offering will provide subscribers with more choices and lower prices.
On July 24, XM and SIRIUS will file their joint reply comments with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The filing will include detailed programming and pricing plans, including two a la carte options. One option will allow subscribers to choose 50 channels for $6.99 — a 46 percent decrease from the current standard subscription rate of $12.95. Under this option, customers will also be able to include additional channels for 25 cents each. The second a la carte option will allow subscribers to choose 100 channels and will allow SIRIUS customers to select from some of the best of XM's programming(and XM subscribers to choose from some of the best of SIRIUS' programming).
The combined SIRIUS-XM will also offer several other new programming packages, including two "family-friendly" options, as well. Those choosing one of the "family-friendly" options will be able to block adult-themed programming and, for the first time, receive a price credit. These packages will set a new standard in audio entertainment and subscription media, offering lower prices, package options, and "best of both" offerings. The new plans will give consumers the ability to choose from several different packages and price points, ranging from $6.99 to $16.99. A la carte programming will be available beginning within one year following the merger, and the other programming options will be available beginning within six months following the merger.
"Mel and I are very excited about being able to offer a la carte programming. We think this is going to be great for consumers and great for our business,” said Gary Parsons, chairman of XM Satellite Radio. “From the day this transaction was announced, we promised that the merger would enable us to deliver more choices and lower prices for consumers. In our filing tomorrow with the FCC, we will offer detailed plans regarding how we will achieve those goals. These plans will further demonstrate why this merger is overwhelmingly good for consumers and in the public interest.”
The combined company will offer two a la carte packages. Consumers will select their channels on-line allowing them to easily review the full-range of each company's programming choices. A la carte programming will only be available for subscribers using new radios, which will be developed following approval of the merger.
Following the merger, consumers will also have the option of choosing a package of SIRIUS Mostly Music programming or XM Mostly Music programming. Subscribers will also be able to choose a package of SIRIUS News, Sports and Talk programming or XM News, Sports and Talk programming. Each of these packages will be $9.99 per month, a savings of 23 percent compared to today's standard subscription of $12.95.
SIRIUS and XM have promised that no subscriber will pay more after the merger for a service similar to what they enjoy today and that no existing radio will be made obsolete by the merger. The XM Everything and SIRIUS Everything packages will offer a service similar to that offered today for the standard subscription of $12.95. Customers who choose to keep the subscription package they have today can continue to do so for $12.95 per month. Customers who purchase XM Everything and SIRIUS Everything packages will also be able to continue their current $6.99 multi-receiver subscriptions.
The companies anticipate the merger will close in late 2007.