Sirius XM will begin shipping new a la carte radios this month for sale, including a Starmate 5 for $129. The radios will be available at retail Oct. 6.
On the same date, Sirius XM will offer a la carte programming, allowing consumers to pick and choose programs from 50 stations at a reduced fee of $6.99/month.
The company will also offer its full slate of new program plans on Oct. 6 including “Best of Both” programs that allows XM listeners to receive Howard Stern and NFL football, and Sirius listeners to receive Oprah, NBA and NHL programming, at $4.00/month more than they paid previously. It appears, however, from the initial listing that Sirius listeners will not be able to receive Major League Baseball.
Sirius XM would not clarify whether MLB will be offered as a Best of Both option in the future.
In addition, Sirius XM CEO Mel Karmazin announced yesterday during a Merrill Lynch Media conference that XM will offer a new wearable portable product later this year, but no product details were provided.
“It’s really cool. It will be in stores in advance of the holidays,” Karmazin said.
More details on the Best of Both programming were announced: “Sirius on XM” will include two Howard Stern channels, Martha Stewart Living, NBA, Sirius NFL Radio, Sirius NASCAR Radio and Playboy Radio. “XM on Sirius” will include, NHL Home Ice, Opie & Anthony, Oprah & Friends, Public Radio with Bob Edwards, College Sports and PGA Tour.
Karmazin also presented new financial guidance on the company, which finalized its 17-month-long merger in late July.
“We have made great strides over the last six weeks and continue to make progress integrating the company and delivering on our promises,” he said.
Sirius XM, now with more than 18.6 million subscribers, also said it plans to reach 19.5 million subscribers by the end of this year and 21.5 million in 2009.
Sirius XM increased its guidance on expected savings from the merger to $425 million in 2009, up from $400 million. It expects to post pro forma revenue of approximately $2.4 billion in 2008 and $2.7 billion in 2009.
In addition, US Electronics filed a claim with the District of Columbia U.S. Court of Appeals asking it to “review and remand” the Sirius XM merger on certain points. US Electronics claimed the ruling of the Federal Communications Commission in July failed to “put teeth” in it’s stipulation that Sirius XM adopt an open sourcing policy allowing any qualified supplier to produce its products, said US Electronics’ attorney Chuck Helein.