Orbitcast: November 2009 Archives

November 2009 Archives

Is a Sirius, Liberty and WorldSpace deal looming?

Mel KarmazinBack in late September, whispers started whirling that Liberty Media was planning on taking its satellite radio game worldwide.

And today at the Reuters Global Media Summit in New York, Sirius XM Radio Inc. CEO Mel Karmazin didn't necessarily squash such speculation.

"We understand that Liberty has expressed an interest in WorldSpace," said Karmazin.

OutQ to air World AIDS Day event with guests Boy George, Wendy Williams, and Sheryl Lee Ralph

World AIDS DayAs they have done in years past, Sirius XM's OutQ channel will air a broadcast event in honor of World AIDS Day - Tuesday, December 1st - with show's theme being "Get Tested, Get Motivated."

Black Friday treats online retailers nicely: sales up by 11%

Black FridaySome people like to wake up at 4am in the morning for the opportunity to pile into a parking lot (that's already full) and muscle their way through the frenzied shopping hoards... just to get access to deep discounts.

But some others like to sit in the comfort of their home and visit their favorite online retailers, all the while taking advantage of similar deep discounts.

That's evidenced by the fact that online shopping is up 11 percent this year, according to comScore.

"An Opie & Anthony Family Special" hosted by Jerry Springer airs this Thanksgiving

Opie and AnthonyOver the years the dysfunctional family lives and upbringings of Sirius XM hosts Gregg "Opie" Hughes, Anthony Cumia and Jim Norton have been the subject of many memorable Opie & Anthony Show moments.

Now, for the first time, these classic tales have been collected into a hilarious Thanksgiving special entitled "Sharing the Laughter and Love: An Opie & Anthony Family Special."

And who better to host such a show than someone who knows a little something of dysfunctional families... Jerry Springer himself.

Thanksgiving on Sirius XM to include Norah Jones, Sting, Eminem, & Queen Latifah

Turkey Day!Sirius XM Radio has unveiled its Thanksgiving weekend programming, which will include special performances by Norah Jones, Bruce Springsteen, Eminem, Willie Nelson, Jimmy Buffett, Queen Latifah, Sting and Jon Secada.

Here's a smattering of highlights of what will be airing this Thanksgiving weekend:

Bubba the Love Sponge gives $24k to families of fallen officers

Bubba the Love SpongeBubba the Love Sponge presented two checks on Thursday totaling $24,000 to the families of two local law enforcement officers who died in the line of duty.

The Bubba the Love Sponge Foundation initiated the fundraising effort and contributed funds for the donations along with local businesses.

Sirius Canada gets their own iPhone App

Sirius Canada on the iPhone
Sirius Canada now has their own app for the iPhone or iPod Touch, but much like the Sirius XM iPhone App offered in the States, there are some limitations.

Namely, no Howard Stern.

Emeril gets his own show on Satellite Radio

Emeril on Sirius XMEmeril Lagasse is joining the ranks of countless other celebrities on the satellite radio dial with a new radio show, Cooking with Emeril, which will launch on the week of November 30th.

The live call-in show (which is Emeril's first) will air twice-weekly from various locations and will interview chefs he meets on the road, all the while taking calls from listeners.

XM SkyDock iPhone app gets a minor update

XM SkyDock iPhone App
Sirius XM have issued an update to the XM SkyDock app to version 1.13 that is said will improve response and loading speed while using the SkyDock receiver. (If you want to know more about the XM SkyDock, read the review here.)

According to the update description, the v1.13 update to the XM SkyDock app includes:
  • An improved channel selection response while in Category Tuning mode.
  • Improved time to load all channel categories after startup.
Sadly, the update doesn't include additional features, such as the ability to record satellite radio, like the more advanced Pocket Tunes app (iTunes link) does. Hopefully, though I'm not holding my breath, that will be coming in the future.

[Download XM SkyDock App (iTunes)]


Miles Davis Radio starting on Sirius XM this Friday

Miles Davis
Widely considered one of the most influential jazz musicians of the 20th century, Miles Davis will soon have a channel dedicated to his life and music, starting this Friday, November 20th.

Nasdaq says Sirius XM now complies with Independent Director Rule

NASDAQSeems like Gary Parsons had more in mind when he said "now is the right time" to resign from Sirius XM Radio Inc.

According to the company, Sirius XM received a letter from Nasdaq stating that it now complies with the independent director and audit committee requirements of the Nasdaq rules. The reason? Because Parsons stepped down.

New Sirius XM ad campaign says Satellite Radio will "change the way you listen"

New Sirius XM ad campaign
Sirius XM Radio Inc. has unveiled their latest TV ad spot, which CEO Mel Karmazin labels as the "most aggressive brand marketing campaign" in the company's history.

The TV commercial is accompanied by a microsite as well as customized web pages highlighting three individual satellite radio receivers.

Satellite Radio Discount: 2 easy ways to save on Sirius XM that you didn't know about

Satellite Radio DiscountSirius XM Radio Inc. has recently launched two satellite radio discount promotions for new subscribers - and from what Orbitcast can tell - has quietly retired its other rebate programs.

The two discount programs involve getting up to $100 in a Sirius XM Rewards pre-paid Visa card, or subscribing to either Sirius or XM for $4.99/month for the first 6-months.

Both discounts end on 12/31/2009, so if you're looking to save for the holiday season, this might a great opportunity. But, as always, there's some restrictions.

Gary Parsons resigns as Sirius XM Chairman, says "now is the right time to step aside"

Gary Parsons and Mel Karmazin

Gary Parsons has stepped down as the Chairman of Sirius XM Radio Inc. Board of Directors, the company said late Thursday. In his place, the company has appointed Eddy W. Hartenstein (an independent director) as the non-executive Chairman.

Parsons said in a written statement, "While it has been a privilege to serve Sirius XM as Chairman and to have guided the company successfully through the merger of Sirius and XM, I believe now is the right time to step aside."

XM will turn on 60 channels on non-activated radios for free


Owners of non-activated XM radios will be getting a surprise starting on Tuesday, November 17th. A total of 60 channels will be turned on in what will be XM's biggest free preview ever, in an event called XM's 60 Channel Challenge

That's right, 60 channels of XM will get turned on, for free.

Slacker now available for Android phones (Sirius XM: are you taking notes?)

Slacker on Android
We heard that Slacker was showing off their mobile radio app for Google Android a few weeks ago, and now it's officially official - Slacker Radio is available for Android smartphones (including the Motorola DROID pictured above).

And while I'm happy for Slacker to keeping up with Pandora in entering the Android Market, this announcement irritates me because it just reminds me of how much Sirius XM are missing key opportunities.

BMW lowers Sirius option price, enhances user experience with iDrive

BMW 3-Series 335dBMW has given its Sirius satellite radio factory option a little love with an expanded channel line-up and a price reduction for 2010 model vehicles (excluding 5 Series, 6 Series, and X3).

Plus BMW has improved the user interface with its latest generation of the iDrive controller.

PocketTunes: Now you can record Satellite Radio on your iPhone

Pocket Tunes
The folks at NormSoft have upgraded the Pocket Tunes Radio iPhone/iPod Touch app to now have the ability to record any stream you want - including recording Sirius XM satellite radio.

Sirius XM total revenue up, while subscriber growth slows

Sirius XM at CES 2009Sirius XM Radio Inc. released their financial and operating results today showing that 3Q09 total revenue grew 3 percent from the third quarter last year, while total subscribers decreased by 2 percent year over year.

Last year's quarter was the first that both Sirius Satellite Radio and XM Satellite Radio posted results as a combined company.

Sirius XM holiday music lineup released: Holly returns

Sirius XM Holiday MusicYour favorite holiday music on satellite radio is returning once again this year, including the fan-favorite Holly channel among others that will offer listeners the perfect soundtrack to any holiday party.

Sirius XM will showcase traditional holiday songs, classical Christmas carols, Hanukkah music, country Christmas hits and contemporary festive music - and it's all starting November 16th.

The Ultimate Guide to Buying a Satellite Radio

Buying a satellite radioSatellite radio is without a doubt one of the most cost effective forms of entertainment on the market today.

Think for a minute about the amount of content that Sirius XM Radio makes available to consumers and the price that they are providing it at. It's pretty hard to find any other form of entertainment that can even come close to satellite radio when it comes to getting the most "bang for your buck."

But the amount of features packed into these radios can sometimes be confusing for consumers looking to buy a satellite radio. Have you ever bought a new device only to find out that you could have purchased something that did a lot more for only a few more dollars? I think we all have.

It's with that in mind that I've put together this "Ultimate Guide to Buying a Satellite Radio" to help sort though the confusion.

As new satellite radios come out, I will continuously update this article to provide and maintain a consistent point of reference for anyone looking to buy the best satellite radio receiver possible.