Saturday, December 09, 2006

WSJ: Comments On SatRad Holiday Season

What a Difference a Year Has Made For Once-Highflying Satellite Radio
By SARAH MCBRIDE, December 8, 2006; Page B1, The Wall Street Journal

Opening a package from his brother and finding a shiny new Sirius satellite car radio inside was one of Dan Krokosky's best gift experiences ever. But as much as he loves his radio, the San Francisco-based oil company executive won't be doling any out to friends or family this holiday season.
"I would want to include the subscription for a year, and that would make it pretty expensive," he says. "Also there's the issue of installation. Too complicated."
Recent sales data suggest Mr. Krokosky isn't alone. And that's adding up to big headaches for not just Sirius Satellite Radio Inc., but rival XM Satellite Holdings Inc. Earlier this week, Sirius cut its subscriber projections for this year by at least 200,000 to a range between 5.9 million and 6.1 million subscribers, blaming weaker-than-anticipated retail sales since the Thanksgiving holiday. XM has been trimming its forecasts all year, most recently telling investors it will end the year with between 7.7 million and 7.9 million subscribers.
The situation is a sharp contrast to last year, when satellite radio was one of the hottest gifts around. The industry was generating unprecedented buzz. Morning radio host Howard Stern was about to join Sirius, accompanied by a saturation marketing and publicity campaign that reported every move Mr. Stern made. Much of the attention spilled over to XM, which launched its own advertising campaign to counter the Sirius blitz. Both companies signed up record numbers of subscribers...read more: here
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12/09/2006 07:06:00 AM

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