Oprah joins XM Satellite Radio!!

Thursday, February 9, 2006 at 9:02 AM
Tags: 2, XM
Oprah on XM Satellite Radio

I know it's a publishing faux-pa to write a headline with exclamation points, but this deserves one. And bold type as well:

Oprah has signed with XM Satellite Radio!

Oprah has signed an exclusive, three-year agreement with XM Satellite Radio, to launch the "Oprah & Friends" channel in September 2006. We heard a lot of rumors of Oprah signing on with either XM or SIRIUS for almost a year now, and now it seems it's finally come to fruition. This is huge for XM and for the satellite radio industry as a whole.

"Oprah & Friends" will feature original daily programming on a variety of topics including nutrition, fitness, health, self improvement, home, and current events from popular Oprah personalities including: Bob Greene, Dr. Mehmet Oz, Dr. Robin Smith, Marianne Williamson, Nate Berkus, and Gayle King.

More info on this as news develops. 

[Press Release

UPDATE: The deal is apparently for $55 million. That's $18M a year (not $55M a year).

UPDATE 2: XM Radio reports that the Oprah deal will not affect its target to break even on a cash flow basis by the end of this year. Currently at over 6 million subscribers, XM says its goal to reach 9 million subscribers by the end of the year is also unchanged.

UPDATE 3: That was fast, XM Canada will also launch Oprah & Friends in September 2007.

UPDATE 4: XM Radio CEO Hugh Panero told Reuters in an interview, "We're done with the big programming deals. With this last piece of the puzzle, after you sign a deal with the likes of Oprah, we see nothing else on the horizon of this magnitude."

Additionally, Oppenheimer analyst Tom Eagan found the deal to be very economical for XM. "On a per-subscriber basis, XM can break even on this deal if they add 145,000 subscribers over the three-year period," he said. "That should be very easy for them to do."

I'd have to agree. 

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