Sirius Throws Washington a Bone

It and merger partner XM will offer family-friendly pricing.
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(SIRI) - Get Report




outlined new prices and joint programming offers in hopes of appeasing regulators who will soon rule on their merger plans.

The satellite radio duo says it will offer eight different services, including a combined a la carte option and a family friendly plan that would block objectionable broadcasts.

The move comes a day before the companies plan to file a reply to the Federal Communications Commission's first round of comments. The companies are hoping to sway regulators in favor of the proposal to combine the only two pay radio businesses. The pricing announcement is an attempt to show that consumers could get more programs for the same or less money than they would pay if the companies didn't merge.

Also, the broadcasting duo says the combined operation would allow existing radios to receive all the channels from one service, and "certain programming" from the other provider. For example, if the merger is approved, XM subscribers could continue to get XM channels and some Sirius stations.

Both companies say the new programming prices would be available about a year after the merger was approved.

Investors have

soured on the once-sweet satellite radio stocks. The merger still faces an even

higher hurdle from antitrust regulators, who must be persuaded that there is adequate competition from conventional radio and devices like iPods to warrant a satellite radio monopoly.

Sirius shares rose 11 cents to $3.23 and XM was up 8 cents to $12.73 in late-morning trading Monday.