As you no doubt already know by now, XM and Sirius announced plans yesterday to merge, pending the approval of the relevant regulatory agencies. The top suits of both companies just held a conference call to present their case to the people that matter most: investors. Oh, and I guess consumers could also listen to it on the radio. But no one gives a damn about them.
The big news is that neither service will be shut down; you're not going to subscribe to a combined XMSIRIUS any time soon. They went out of their way to say that, for example, if you want to listen to both Howard Stern and Opie & Anthony, the two biggest "gets" for satellite radio, you'll need to subscribe to both services.
For more edge-of-your-seat developments, hit the ol' jump.
Truth be told, this conference was more of a "calm down, investors, we got this." Still, they did reveal a few tidbits of information that you'll appreciate hearing. Or reading, whatever.
•The company is "interested" in raising prices. Wonderful!
•Regarding the regulatory hurdles, the new company will try to argue that satellite radio competes against terrestrial (read: "regular") radio, HD radio, and Internet radio, and that DAPs like the iPod have changed the rules of the game. Too bad terrestrial radio is riddled with intelligence-insulting commercials and horrifying contests, HD radio is nigh irrelevant, and Internet radio has been all but legislated out of existence.
•Consumers are the big winners! Yay, we're winners! Allegedly, we'll get more "choice" (from one company) and a greater range of programming (from one company). Though it looks like we'll be able to choose channels on an à la carte basis. That's nice.
•This merger is nothing at all like the proposed merger between DirecTV and Dish Network since those companies were only competing against pay services (cable TV) whereas satellite radio is competing against free radio. I guess this means that my over-the-air HDTV antenna isn't real. Who knew?
•Until the merger happens, both companies will operate as they do today.
Those are some of the bigger points. I'm a little surprised that they didn't mention how this is just a ploy to compel the government to bail them both out. You see, since both companies still haven't turned a profit, they decided to merge in order to cut costs. To merge requires governmental approval. In other words, "please let us merge otherwise our businesses will fail and we'll lose money and we'll be sad."
We'll seen by the end of the year whether or not this actually happens. Fingers crossed! (Yes, I know the picture is upside down. It's for editorial effect. Thank you.)
Live Blogging the Sirius + XM Merger Conference Call [Orbitcast.com]