XM Tries For Home Run With $650 Million Pact To Air Major League Baseball
XM Satellite Radio [XMSR] is taking a swing at enticing new subscribers through the American pastime by signing an 11-year, $650 million contract to air every Major League Baseball game beginning with the 2005 regular season. XM already has more than 2.5 million subscribers nationwide and will become the MLB’s official satellite radio network.
The deal is the “crown jewel” of sports programming, said Hugh Panero, CEO of XM Satellite Radio. Major League Baseball gives XM an enticing inducement for sports fans to subscribe to the service that was trumped by rival Sirius Satellite Radio‘s [SIRI] seven-year, $220 million contract to air virtually all the National Football League games earlier this year.
“MLB has the broadest appeal of any major sport,” Panero said. “People of all ages are baseball fans, from children to grandparents. Baseball is also a sport ideally suited for radio, given its natural pace and the ability to vividly describe each play.”
For an analysis of the deal’s financial impact on XM, please see the Oct. 25 issue of Satellite News. For more information on subscribing to Access Intelligence’s satellite industry publications, please visit us on the Web at http://www.satellitetoday.com. To sign up for a free trial subscription to Satellite News, go to the Web site: http://www.telecomweb.com/cgi/catalog/trial?SN.