You are here:

Radio/XM Radio


QUESTION: "I don't suppose you know much about satelite radio?"

If you would have replied instead of rejected I could have elaborated, but I wanted to make sure your expertise wasn't just AM/FM or just the business of being a voice on the radio.

I wanted to ask the difference between XM radio, Sirius radio, and XMSirius radio, and in what way they merged into a single company?

ANSWER: At one point, when satellite radio first started. there were two separate, competing companies,
XM and Sirius.  Each had its own broadcasting system and neither's was compatible with the other, so units exist that can receive only XM and units that can receive only Sirius.  Listening online, you get a hybrid of stations, there are some XM and Sirius stations included in the feed.  This is the same situation when listening on a new radio in a new car.  Now, I am not sure which company bought the other but I believe Sirius was the dominant company throughout; after all the CEO of Sirius, I believe became the new CEO of the merged company.
Normally with a transaction of this nature and because both companies were losing money, that the exchange was mostly transacted with stock shares being swapped.  It was theorized that the outcome if merging was not approved was that both companies would fail.  Normally, the Justice Department would consider this monopolistic but basically there was no choice and of course, the bottom line when the FCC allows anything is:  is there other competition; does the public have any other media choices; are there are other ways to get the same entertainment?

As far as the technical aspect and the differences in systems between the two companies when they were separate, I do not know.  The new radios; the internet/online broadcasting and any new car with a new receiver can pick up any of the combined group of stations.  They may have
had different systems on purpose so you would have to buy an XM receiver for XM stations or a
Sirius receiver for Sirius stations, for example.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: So would you assume that as all equiptment ages and falls apart eventually all new receivers and transmitters will be capable of receiving XMSirius and there will be no such thing as XM or Sirius as seperate things? Someone told me that XM bought Sirius. Also if they both kind of have different programming still how do they number the stations? My car gets XM only and it seems to run from 2 to 150 or so. Are their Sirius stations using the same numbers or are they already incorporated into the same numbering system? And lastly if American satelite is now run only by one company is there a limit to how much they will consider changing their programing based on consumer demands? Like if I suggested an idea for a channel, how likely is it that they would consider the idea?

According to my friend who has satellite in his car, the combined service is called Sirius/XM and where they offer it together, there is one set of lineup numbers and it costs extra for
premium channels (such as Howard Stern).  I would assume when it is available as two distinct channels, they have their own mutually exclusive channel lineup numbers.


All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Andy Blatt


Questions regarding all aspects of radio (except for technical transmitter questions). Questions like formats, operations, sales, announcing.


College radio: program director and general manager, WCMO, Marietta; WMRT, Marietta (OH); Announcer, WPAR; WIBZ, Parkersburg, WV; Announcer, newscaster, WMOA, Marietta and announcer, copywriter, newscaster at WVOS, Liberty, NY. Announcer, newscaster, WERA, Plainfield, NJ and contributor to other stations, both online and broadcast

BA degree in Mass Media/Management (Radio/eTV & Business) at Marietta College; Courses in webpage design for the internet

©2017 All rights reserved.