Washington, D.C.- Satellite radio providers XM and Sirius said will broaden the reach of their satellite radio services into the mass market with a test market program to be launched through Wal-Mart.
XM will begin a test program on May 1 in 1,000 of Wal-Mart's 3,000 outlets and will sell Pioneer and Sony XM car stereo products in the pilot program. A spokesman for Sirius said it will service through 1,000 outlets later this year, however, A Jensen company spokesman said that Sirius service is already available in approximately 100 Wal-Mart outlets under the pilot.
According to Jensen, it has released a special Sirius ready car stereo package for the Wal-Mart pilot called the CP1-SSR. It includes the SSR-2000 satellite receiver with a display/ controller, which works with any head unit; the KVFM1 FM modulator and SRC 2001 adhesive mount antenna. It carries a list price of less than $300.
In the XM camp, Pioneer has lowered the price of its FM XM receiver, which works with any car stereo, to $199, down $50, at all retail stores including Wal-Mart. Pioneer also lowered the price of its XM receiver that can be used XM-ready head unit to $149, from $199. XM said it is not subsidizing the price reduction, but noted that a second generation, down-sized XM chipset will be available in the fourth quarter.
According to Dan Murphy, XM's Vice president of retail marketing and OEM distribution, Wal-Mart approached both satellite radio suppliers to participate in a pilot program. Murphy said that Wal-Mart requires that products fall under a certain price point and both Pioneer and Jensen products already meet that requirement. He said Sony has not yet announced the specific products, which it will offer via Wal-Mart. A spokesman for Sony was not available at press time.