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Satellite Radio Deal Stirs NYC Debate

By | April 14, 2004

      The top executives at Washington, D.C.-based XM Satellite Radio [XMSR] and Satellite Radio [SIRI] verbally sparred with each other about which company is pursuing the best growth strategies. The two CEOs squared off during a panel discussion at the SKYFORUM conference in New York City yesterday.

      A big difference of opinion arose over whether Sirius “overpaid” by agreeing to a seven-year, $220 million agreement to broadcast National Football League (NFL) games outside their home markets. XM CEO Hugh Panero expressed his belief Sirius paid too much for the rights in an effort to differentiate its service. Key considerations that led XM to walk away from such a pricey deal include the company’s focus on reaching profitability in first half 2005 and keeping its cost of adding new subscribers at reasonable levels, he added.

      Sirius CEO Joe Clayton countered the NFL deal was back-loaded to avoid a big initial financial outlay. The pact ultimately will pay off handsomely when the NFL and its teams entice new customers to subscribe to Sirius through joint marketing programs.

      For in-depth coverage of this story, see the April 19 issue of Satellite News. For more information about subscribing to PBI Media’s satellite newsletters, check out our Web site at

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