Are they Sirius? As a heart attack. So, it seems that the thousands of dollars satellite radio providers Sirius and XM rake from consumers isn’t quite enough, that the two giants in satellite radio are aiming to bring in even more dough as they look to form a merger – a $13 billion move that would first require approval from the Federal Communications Commission.
So what does this mean for you, the consumer?
According to both companies, lower costs and diversified programming with less repetition. The merger could mean consumers would not have to choose between programming that is offered on one radio station, but not the other.
For example, according to the Wall Street Journal, listeners won’t have to choose between listening to Howard Stern on Sirius or Oprah on XM. If the merger is approved, they can listen to both personalities at different time slots. Or listeners would not have to choose between listening to MLB playoff games on XM and preseason NFL games on Sirius.
Right now, both Sirius and XM Radio offer consumers a variety of programming,
but do have some programming that overlap by category.
About 14 million people are subscribers to either Sirius or XM. That number could change drastically in eithern direction if the merger is approved. A big concern for advocates against the merger is the cost. Such a merger creates a monopoly on the satellite airwaves, allowing a large company (like the one that would form if the Sirius/XM merger is approved) to potentially raise the prices for the services and force consumers to adjust because there would be no competition.
It would indeed be heartwarming to think the suits at XM and Sirius have the consumer’s best interests at heart. But unless consumers are dressed in good ol’ greenbacks …Yet, though we frown upon any kind of monopoly in our capitalistic system, we have to admit that consumers who purchase satellite radio are choosing and paying for that service because they want to control the type of programming that they listen to.
Subscribers to satellite radio make up a very tiny percentage of all radio listeners. So if they don’t approve of the planned merger, they can do something simple.Tune out.
Or do what most of us do.
Listen to our local versions of Howard Stern or Oprah, free of charge.