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Sirius ‘Stiletto’ Live Portable Is On Track For August

New York — Sirius Satellite Radio confirmed it is on track to introduce a new wearable “live” Sirius/MP3 player, to be named Stiletto, later this month.

CEO Mel Karmazin said the product has been in beta testing for several weeks, but would not release further product details.

In an earnings webcast today, Sirius also announced that it is “close to signing deals” on children’s programming for its satellite video rear-seat entertainment product due in the second half of the year, according to Karmazin.

The company presented an optimistic retail picture overall for its products, claiming it is exceeding its guidance of reaching and maintaining parity with XM in retail share.

Sirius said its retail market share year to date is 58 percent, and for the month of June its retail share was 62 percent. “Since September, we’ve been the [retail] market-share leader every month,” Karmazin told Wall Street analysts. “We told you to expect parity, not the pre-eminent position we have now,” he said claiming that Sirius expects to maintain its retail lead in the fourth quarter.

Sirius said it recently conducted new market research which found that 94 percent of subscribers are satisfied with Sirius service, up from 92 percent, and that 90 percent would recommend Sirius to a friend, up from 86 percent.

Overall, Sirius noted that major retailers continue to expand both their advertising and in-store merchandising space for the category of satellite radio, as a whole.

The company said satellite radio’s recent monthly growth is higher than the single digits noted by The NPD Group recently. It said if Wal-Mart, Costco and Sam’s Club are included in the data, industry retail growth is in the double digits. NPD data does not include Wal-Mart and warehouse clubs.

Sirius said it is on track to launch a fourth satellite in 2008, which will improve signal coverage for portable wearable devices and devices in a fixed location. The aggregate cost to design and launch the satellite will be $260 million, with the bulk of the payments to be made in 2008.

The company reiterated its expectation to be free cash-flow positive after capital expenditures for calendar 2007, and possibly in the fourth quarter of this year.