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Who's going to pay for the Sirius-XM merger? How about Howard Stern?

It may be their business, but will the subscribers have to pay for the Sirius-XM merger? Maybe Howard Stern should take a pay cut to help Sirius' bottom line.

Steve Guttenberg
Ex-movie theater projectionist Steve Guttenberg has also worked as a high-end audio salesman, and as a record producer. Steve currently reviews audio products for CNET and works as a freelance writer for Stereophile.
Steve Guttenberg
2 min read

It seems like the Sirius-XM merger been dragging on for years, and both sides are eager to get it done, but what would I get out of it? I've been a happy Sirius subscriber for years. I love the commercial-free music channels, and the uninhibited talk channels are hugely entertaining. At least maybe Sirius' sound quality will get closer to XM's--it's always sounded a little better.

They still need approval from the Federal Communications Commission before the deal is done. If you ask me, it seems anticompetitive to let the only two satellite-radio companies in the U.S. merge. Both companies' subscriber bases are at record highs, but both claim they need the merger to survive. They've both far exceeded the numbers they claimed they needed to be profitable when they started.

Sirius must be overpaying Howard Stern--because even with all the new subscribers he brought them, they're still losing money. He's sucking the profits out of Sirius--perhaps Stern should consider a pay cut to help them out? He can afford it more than his listeners.

What does the merger mean for satellite radio subscribers? There's a lot of duplication between Sirius and XM's programming so we'll surely lose some of our favorite programs or channels. There will no doubt be winners and losers in the reshuffle.

But without Sirius-XM competition how long will the merged company wait before they stick it to the subscribers and jack up the rates? Yes, some say the merged company will still be competing with broadcast radio, but isn't that like saying movie theater ticket prices are somehow kept in check by DVD prices? Somebody's gotta pay for the Sirius-XM merger, and I have a feeling that somebody is us.