back to article Last US sat radio gang mulls bankruptcy

Sirius XM, the remaining satellite radio broadcaster in the USA, is reportedly considering filing for chapter 11 protection from creditors as it becomes unable to service its huge debt. Unable to make debt repayments of $175m, due at the end of the month, the New York Times reports, Sirius XM has taken on advisers to help …


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No, please no!

American commercial radio is abysmal, music interrupting the adverts (it comes to something when you can repeat an ad for debt consolidation word for word!), so it would be a huge shame if Sirius XM went down the tubes.

Silver badge


well, crap, I just got a Stiletto2 receiver for Christmas. Guess I'm late to the party.

OTOH, after a few weeks the "new" wore off and I realized Sirius wasn't THAT much better than regular FM. The heavy-metal channels seem to play the same dozen or two songs every day (really, how many times a week do we need to hear "Just A Giggolo" and "100 in a 55"?), just like the channels on FM.

Ah well, at least it was a gift...

Paris Hilton

It's simple... I'm not paying for commercials

I bought an XM radio way-back-when it was a commercial-free service. Then it went to "most of the channels are commercial-free" then "most of the channels have ads" and now it's no different than listening to standard over-the-air "15 ads and maybe a short song". Broadcast radio now even displays the artist & title now just like my XM radio.

There's nothing to distinguish them from the free ad-supported services. Why should I pay for it?

PH because I would certainly pay for those services!

Dead Vulture

Bad business model

If it was such a good business idea, why didn't Sir Richard Branson (or Sky) do satellite radio in the EU?

Now lets see, Virgin records, SRB pulled out of that before it went tits-up, ditto Virgin Mega Store, ditto Virgin Radio. If it wasn't for UK.plc subsidy, I'd expect Virgin Trains (the most uncomfortable trains in the UK,) would also go tits-up as well! Virgin Blue (Australian airline) is on its knees as well but SRB is tied into a 50% deal with "Queer And Nasty Try Another Service." (Qantas!)

Oh, I don't use Virgin Media either, as I work for BT/openreach & get FREE unlimited broadband. :-))


Don't forget...

Even Radio 1 transmits on Sirius


The iPhone will kill Sirius XM

Well, not the iPhone particularly, but services running on the cellphone network like Pandora, Slacker, LastFM, et al will kill Sirius XM.

Sirius XM has forgotten their value proposition and is becoming indistinguishable from regular terrestrial radio. Why did people buy satellite radio service?

1. To avoid commercials.

Sirius XM has been running commercials on their music channels for more than a year. The DJs read advertisements between songs and call it "banter".

2. Adult content.

A condition of the Sirius XM merger was a minimum of 100 "family friendly" channels. All of the hard rock and hip-hop channels are now playing radio edits and bleeping profanity.

Uncensored content is a big draw for the Sirius XM audience. Sirius XM is now censored at the same level as regular cable television, which means that you can get titties and dirty words while the children are asleep, but daytime content is bleached clean.

3. Deep playlists, better targeting, and rare stuff.

Most of the specialty channels have been cut. The remainder are as bland and repetitive as any Clear Channel or Jack FM station.

4. Audio Quality.

Most Sirius XM music channels are down to a bitrate of 32kbps or less, which makes the music sound worse than AM radio. Talk channels are running at 8kbps, which causes the "tin roof".

People that pay for radio generally expect higher quality. Trying to cram backseat TV service into their bandwidth license was idiotic.

5. Price

Most people would rather put the money for a $250 radio and $15 subscription into a fancy fancy cellphone with a data service, and stream exactly what they want from the Internet.

More simply, everything that Mel Karmazin turns to shit and shareholders that had enough votes to fire him fully deserve to see their investment evaporate.


so long

I was one of those guys that went out and bought a sat radio for Howard Stern. I bought mine a few months ahead and on the day he was first on the thing burned up. That's not Howards fault, it's not Sirius's fault, but I called the manufacturer and I was told it wasn't their fault either. I already had the unit for a few months and you usually only have a short manufacturers warranty.

Prior to it burning up I did get to hear some Sirius and as I recall they still had commercials. Howard justified it by saying they needed something to fill the breaks they had but I always questioned why they couldn't air howard bits during the breaks. I did try to listen online with my sirius username/pass but the site was overloaded.

So goodbye, I have howard tv on demand and it's great but im getting rid of my cable because comcast has jitter on my cable connection and it's interrupting my voip calls. Im getting rid of it all. dsl baby.

Anonymous Coward


I got Sirius radio for precisely the reason noted above - American terrestrial-broadcast radio is, if anything, even more broken than the the internet without an ad-blocker. Fortunately, the channels I listen to have not, so far, become contaminated with ads... but if they do, frankly, the only option I see is to wire an MP3 player into my system or just go without listening to anything in the car.

I can't imagine what they were thinking, coughing up massive sums of money for Howard "bawwww, I can't swear as much as I need to" Stern, personally. Maybe he really was a selling point for some listeners, though, but I always figured it was the way cable television was originally hawked: you pay some money and you get ad-free entertainment. So much for that. Hasn't anybody drawn the obvious conclusion from the fact that the other killer app (besides file sharing) turned out to be technology permitting people to avoid advertisements?

Come the revolution, the first order of business is to exterminate the advertisers, then the MBAs.


American business, step by step

1-Take feeble idea, get press to hawk, attract investors

2-Launch satellites, build villas on 6 continents, give buddy Howard Stern half a billion

3-Buy FCC to allow merge with your brother-in-law doing the same thing

4-Buy judge, have him help you write bankruptcy plea, cry poverty

5-Profit! Keep all assets, screw customers, pay investors nothing

6-More Profit! Sell bandwidth on excess satellites

7-Even More Profit! Sell timeshares in your FCC and judge


Who Really Cares?

Oh noes! The music industry! It's almost dead!

...but at least we've an unlimited selection of mp3s to play at the funeral.

I'm not leaving, I'm just looking for my iPod.


It's crap anyway

My last US trip I has a Sirius radio in my rental car. It was rubbish, drop-outs every time I drove under a tree or a freeway bridge, hundreds of channels each playing about 10 songs total in a continuous loop, pathetic user interface.

I went back to FM after an afternoon of Sirius.

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