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Sirius Accelerates National Rollout Plans

3/27/2002 09:06:00 AM Eastern

New York - In conjunction with the release of its fourth-quarter and year-end financial results, satellite radio broadcaster Sirius Satellite Radio said it is expanding and accelerating its regional rollout plan for its satellite radio service.

With Sirius' business expectations propelled forward by what it called rapid market optimization and positive customer feedback, the company will now offer service in 39 states over the next 60 days, with full nationwide distribution available July 1. Earlier, the company targeted one city at a time. The service launch began Feb. 14 in Denver, Houston, Phoenix and Jackson, Miss.

Service will expand in April, beginning with Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho, Montana, North and South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas and Iowa.

Nevada, Utah, Oklahoma, Minnesota, Missouri, Arkansas and Louisiana will be completed by May 1. This will be followed by more states in the Midwest, the South and, finally, the Far West and far East sections of the country. The nationwide rollout will be completed by July 1, instead of August 1.

'We are thrilled to report that we have made significant progress in many of the success-defining areas we've targeted,' said Joe Clayton, president/CEO.

In its financial report, Sirius recored an operating loss of $51.8 million for the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, up from $38.2 million in the same three months in 2000. The company had a net loss after extraordinary items of $72.7 million, up from $44 million in the same period a year earlier.

For the 12 months, Sirius recorded an operating loss of $168.5 million, compared with $125.6 million the previous year. The operating loss included a $9.9 million non-cash expense. Its net loss after extraordinary items for the 12 months reached $235.8 million, up from $134.7 million year over year.

Sirius did not report any revenue for its fourth quarter or 12 months.

The company also announced it has renegotiated the covenants in its Lehman credit facility, eliminating 2002 requirements and substantially reducing subsequent year requirements.

As a result of negotiating this Term Loan Agreement, December 2002 subscriber and cash flow covenants have been eliminated. New covenant requirements commence in the first quarter of 2003, and continues quarterly thereafter.

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