Sirius, XM Union May Have Listeners Singing the Blues

Deal would lower options, raise prices, Post writer says
By Wesley Oliver,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 10, 2007 1:32 PM CST
Mel Karmazin, the CEO of Sirius Satellite Radio Inc., talks during a demonstration of Sirius Backseat TV on Thursday, March 29, 2007 in New York. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – For anyone doubting that a merger between Sirius and XM would harm the satellite radio industry by forcing listeners to go through a single provider, the Washington Post’s Marc Fisher has two words: cable TV. Fisher argues that for all of the advantages any union may produce, ultimately it would result in fewer channels, inferior customer service, and higher prices.

XM and Sirius, which broadcast to 13% of US households, say their initial agreement not to merge is no longer valid because they not only compete with terrestrial radio, but also with the internet, iPods, Hollywood, and the TV networks. Fisher is unconvinced, predicting a merger would lead to “dramatic cost-cutting” and finally “less local programming and lower quality.”