Rumor: Merged Sirius-XM channel lineup to debut in weeks - Orbitcast

Rumor: Merged Sirius-XM channel lineup to debut in weeks

| 78 Comments

Sirius, XM channels

An unconfirmed rumor has surfaced that a new channel guide for the merged Sirius XM Radio Inc. was recently created, and is expected to be released on November 5th.

The lineup, of which 50 of the channels are said to be Music Channels, is rumored to have been put together last Wednesday. New Channel logos are rumored to still being created.
 
It will be interesting to see if this is all true (this information, I must stress, is still all unconfirmed). But if you think about it, there must be a reason why XM does not have an A La Carte radio - if they merged all the channels, perhaps there would be no need for it.

Additionally, sources are saying that most of these new "Combined" channels will come from the New York offices, however unique channels such as The Loft on XM will stay. Holiday programming is also said to be out of New York.

Channel merging will start within weeks and will be completed shortly afterwards in an effort to be completed before the holidays.


78 Comments

Seems plausable. I can't wait for this all to go into effect. Once XMX is available on Sirius radios I'll have no reason to get XM. Godspeed, Dylan's show starts soon.

I hope this is true sorry but XM's Music trumps Sirius playlist wise that and I hope they have XM comedy XL take over raw dawg they had more of a selection Raw Dawg repeats too much.

This and the program exec's makes it sound like Sirius is "taking over". Makes me think about canceling my sub sooner than later. In this economy its a good idea to start saving money. Thanks Mel.

Snick: S3 of Theme Time Radio Hour premiered last Wednesday, Oct. 8th.

And before the trolls and angry "investors" show up, I really think that they can pull this off without ruining their programming.

Any word on when the Holiday music channels will be starting I remember last year Holly started online on November 1st and am wondering if thats the same this year

I can almost hear the bellyaching now. Somebody's gonna get their favorite channel taken away and they won't like it.

What's wrong with the lineup now DAMNIT!?!

So, in other words, the merger was a lie - this was a complete and utter buyout of XM, with the purpose of eliminating it. There goes all that great content I bought into, now watered down into the dreck that Sirius has been airing lately - shallow playlists, DJs that don't know up from down, and just plain ugh radio.

And 50 music channels?!? Holy crap, that's a significant loss from the 65 or so on each service as is - there goes several genres that almost no coverage anywhere else on radio - other than internet radio, which has found it's way into the car through the iPhone and other 3G cell phones.

Mel is a complete and utter idiot - he is killing every single reason for a person to pay for satellite radio.

a) Calm-o. There is no "proof" that this is coming so soon, and so drastically. It is (so far) rumor. We should learn more in the coming weeks.

b) The rumor is one of two things: (1) renaming/renumbering/reprogramming of ALL 69 music channels on both services -- mirrored on each; (2) 50 identical music channels on each service, 19 unique music channels on each service...i.e., Radio Margaritaville/Elvis Radio only on SIRIUS, Fine Tuning/XMX available only on XM.

c) Again, until confirmation from someone inside SIRIUS XM, this all is COMPLETELY a "rumor", as Ryan has posted in the story's title.

Please, please, please ... keep Cinemagic!

If this rumor ends up being true, and my XM service goes from 69 music channels to 50, I'm done and gone at that moment. Four receivers out the door. I got XM for music. I could care less about talk and sports. Cutting 19 music channels will result in having LESS variety, and the remaining channels will likely become more hits-focused overnight, because there will be no room for being unique or out-of-the-ordinary. We already know this due to the punk rock channels being removed.

I am EXTREMELY unhappy at this rumor, and will be furious if it becomes reality.

I tend to believe the 50 identical, 19 exclusive thing.

By the way, unless Ryan has OTHER sources that he's keeping quiet, the main source for this is an anonymous guy on xmfan.

And yes, I know Ryan usually has pretty good sources.

Just think... 50 music channels (and that was it) = extremely high bitrate. You can't satisfy everyone, but I'd be for it!

Plus I could shut off two radios!

That would definitely be the end of my subscriptions to XM and Sirius. Reducing the amount of music channels is not a positive in any matter and should not be supported. What happened to the old line of more choices? That seems to have been a complete lie. If this happens I hope Sirius and XM go down in flames. Screw them because they suck. I’d buy an HD Radio before supporting this nonsense. Yes it’s that bad.

The New York (read: Sirius's takeover attitude) references make this news sound alarmingly ominous for XM subscribers.

Time to start recording what's left of the once-great XM.

This is probably true. In all reality it makes sense they do this. I mean Both XM and Sirius have good channels, and keeping many channels exclusive to each service will make you want to keep both services. That will make up for your 19 missed channels. Making new Decade, Urban, Country channels makes sense. Having Different kinds of Rock Channels, Jazz, Latin, and other channels like that makes sense too.
Ryan, your A-la Carte radio speculation sounds very true and again makes sense.

I do hope, to help avoid confusion this holiday season, Sirius XM radio does try and bring the channel lineups for both platforms into an as identical a fashion as possible. That would make, for the consumer, choosing which service to subscribe to much easier. For those of you who are upset, I understand, but I think this is a necessary evil and Mel has always stated that at least the "duplicative" channels will be combined into the "best of" both services. If it is true that the channel numbers are being reduced then I would assume this is being done to free up the bandwidth needed for the minority programming (as the best of programming has stretched it quite a bit already) and perhaps to raise sound quality slightly since there are many complaints about that (though I am sure that is a dream more than anything).

I was never a big fan of the sirius music channels.... with that said - if the new music channels aren't to my liking, Then slacker will be side-by-side with my satellite radio.

Long live XM as I've once known.

dont touch the 60s on 6 kill 60s vibrations
that channel is horrible

raw will switch to shade 45 bank on it

Everybody knows that this is a RUMOR, right? A disconcerting one at that, but still a "rumor."

Why is everyone complaining? I dig this. Whats good for the company surviving this economy is good for ALL of us. Especially if you're an investor too. :-)

Besides what is the big deal? Everyone is making it sound like the end of the world as listeners. relax. Keeping the BEST unique programs from each and merging the duplicates is what was going to happen EVENTUALLY!

Y'all make it sound like you never KNEW.

Sheesh. They were NEVER going to KEEP 20 Country channels or 2 exactly same 70s channels etc.

Any reason why some posts aren't showing up?

I find it very interesting that most people focus on the negative. Fascinating, isn't it.

I don't believe that SIRIUS XM can reduce the number of channels....I think part of the merger agreement was no lesser number of channels for the $12.95 price tag. So, I wouldn't believe that they are reducing the channel number. Also, they both have contractual obligations to Dish Network/DirecTV. If they suddenly change the number of channels they provide them, they might be in trouble...so, I doubt they will.

Agree 100%, I have no reason to have Sat radio for talk. Talk covers the FM band. It is pretty clear that Sirius' growth was due to the investment in Stern, not music. Music is what got XM started, and the best merger would be to keep XM's music, XM's best of, and Sirius' best of. However, ego's win, and Karmazin has that, in spades. We will see whether balls win over brains.

I know this is off - topic but , hey " espnjason " no New York Yankees in the playoffs this year ? lol .....

How about last season , when the Cleveland Indians knocked off the New York Yankees ? lol .....

Of course they have to merge channels. They are also going to rationalize sales, management, and technical staff. Think about this, before you all go off half cocked: What happens after the current channels are merged? That leaves a LOT of bandwidth left. Sure, some will be used for backseat TV, but I don't think that will be a huge seller. Cars just aren't selling, and people won't want to buy a $500 satellite radio. The obvious choice is to use the remaining bandwidth to add more interesting programming. I am optimistic and looking forward to what they are going to come up with.

There not going to reduce the number of music channels. Geez. Everyone calm down. That would be suicide. IF this is true, it probably goes along with what Mel has said for a long time- they are going to merge the channels that are identical (or close to it) on each service. Why produce two 70's channels?

The other thing to keep in mind, whose to say they will pick the Sirius' version of the channel. They very well may pick the XM version.

Lets see how this plays out. So far, this merger has been a big win, imo, to the subscriber. XM and Sirius subscribers can now get content from the "other provider" on their current radio- including Stern, Opie and Anthony, NFL, SEC sports, Nascar, etc. Just think how crazy that would have sounded two years ago?

Think about it though... Both XM and Sirius now have the best of the other service... which adds channels to the lineup. So in theory, they can cut as many channels as they've added through the best of offerings. And remember that play-by-play channels add channel numbers, even if they're only used one or two days a week.

I'm still not liking how this is looking.

Whatever helps SiriusXM stick around is the only option! Quit your bitch'n and realize that vanity is dead.

Oh no, I am not going to have all my duplicate channels!?? ...and I am getting HD Radio!!?? (Like that's the same or better - what a joke!)

Cry babies! grow up!

GO SIRI

The New York (read: Sirius's takeover attitude) references make this news sound alarmingly ominous for XM subscribers.

Time to start recording what's left of the once-great XM.

Speculation: to make room for the minority and special interest channels they will either have to A) reconfigure channels (eliminate channels) or B) compress even more content to where it all sounds like it is in a sea shell.. quality over quantity.. my choice has always been just say no to the merger but nobody believed that this would happen, that a monopoly is a bad thing..

I'm fine with them consolidating some of the music channels that appear on both services (decades, etc.). I love XM's variety but can do without the large number of latin and hip-hop music channels. There is plenty of this music on commercial radio (in fact, these two seem to dominate most markets now). If they leave my favorites alone (Chill, Audiovisions, High Standards, The System, Escape, Fox news, Radio Classics) or give me the equivalent from Sirius, I will be happy. I channel surf every few weeks but rarely add a new station to my favorites.

If XM's Lucy (Ch 54) loses to this rumor, my satellite radio subscription is gone.

I find the sour grapes from all the XM fans on this board amusing. Please drop the service already if you hate it so much and go bitch and moan on some shitty Clear Channel fan board.

I work here. As I said months ago, this is a scam. It's Lehman Brothers. These executives never cared or do they now care about the product. They cleaned the carcass and ran with millions of the stockholder dollars. It is literally criminal. Now as predicted it will be less, a lot less channels for the same money without the premiums of course, that's extra. Sirius did buy XM and they are in the process of gutting it as they promised not to. You have no idea how many people from XM have already been fired. Over a 120 non-commercial music channels will now become 50!!! Everything you heard before the merger was a LIE.

XMers laid off? Might be because the music sucks! Ooooh, will forties on four be canceled? One can only hope so. I've tried listening to XM's content & I can't get past 2 minutes per channel. Sirius' content & exclusives are far more superior. Maybe Clear Channel is hiring...

what are u people complaining about? They are going to KEEP the original channels and get rid of the redundancies.

This was ALWAYS going to happen when INTEROPERABLE radios came out. THE GOAL is to MERGE as ONE.

REMEMBER????

This is a GOOD thing.

Stop crying like little babies. It's really quite embarrassing. :-)

People say stop cyring like babies but people who pay for XM music don't want the shit that Sirius (Yes it is shit) puts on the airwaves. They do that. I'm out. That simple.

I find it interesting how many people complain about other people complaining.

I assume the people complaining about XM complainers are either die-hard Stern fans who think this is an ego war, or stockholders who are afraid that "survival tactics" will make people less likely to resubscribe.

Stockholders forget its the customer that's king. One of the things Sirius must do well is keep the existing XM subs. If say 20% leave because of the music playlists, that's not a good thing. If the service is trimmed so badly people don't want it, they aren't making the correct choices.

BTW--40s on 4 is one of XM's most popular channels.

You are right. Get rid of one channel and drop the whole damn thing. That will show them won't it.

I'm not crying, I'm going to get off my ass and manage my own music. First thru recording internet radio, and then interfacing my Ipod to my car audio system. No worry, I just informing the merged company of what the alternatives. Sat radio is a convenience, but not exclusive.

I think the combined company could create a blend which made sense managerially and creatively. However, all of the management moves with respect to music content, by both companies, have reduced the entertainment value to me. Therefore, I don't expect shareholders will be disappointed, but music lovers don't have much to look forward too, other than a commercial free sort of Clear Channel content.

What happens to the lifetime subs that paid $150 more for best of xm??

perhaps we should wait and see what happens.........

Yes, this was always the promise from the get go. This is why I was against the merger.

I am not whining, I am waiting. As of right now, XM is still worth it. Barely, but they are still worth the $12.95. If these changes are true, and I suspect they are, then I will re-evaluate. I already have a backup plan. When in the car, I don't mind hearing the same old music, adding to my library as the new stuff gets out. And when I am at home, I have already transitioned to using Internet radio, slacker, Pandora, etc.

Things change. I understand that. XM is a business, I understand that as well. Over the years, the reins have been pulled in on musical programming so much that we may not even notice a difference when Sirius takes that over.

And the audio quality has gotten so bad, that I'm almost thinking of cancelling simply on that. But, curiousity has me sticking around until I see the changes.

Let's see - I'm trying to reduce costs fast. I rent space in NYC and I own space in DC. I can broadcast music out of either location and listeners can't tell the differece.

You're telling me a strategic move is to let the DC sit almost empty and keep paying big bucks to lease space in NYC? With the real estate market being what it is, I can't imagine them not utilizing the space the own and cutting back on the space they rent. I'd be very surprised if they didn't try to use the DC space for music broadcasts when combining channels whenever possible.

That means Subsoniq is gone too. THis sucks

Folks....Just like in anything else. The majority will win. I hope you guys
don't think that one guy or girl is in charge of making these decisions! There are many polls that get ratings for listeners. We the subscribers make the decisions. Sirius got rid of Fox News a while back...We wanted it back and our wish was there command. Just hope that whatever channel you are fighting for does not have 18 listeners.


This will be great.....give it a chance.

At least on XM they had shows like " Subsoniq" which gave Hip Hop listeners some sanity. If they end up cutting RAW, then there will be no place for Shows like Subsoniq and SpitKicker radio to go to. THey were the only oulets for Hip Hop fans to get REAL Hip Hop. SIRIUS will basically be like having FM radio with out commercials, whcih means listening to the same garbage Hip Hop being spewed on commercial radio and MTV /BET. To most people who don't listen to Hip Hop, thier opinions are generally ignorant and you can tell they came from a white person's mouth. How typical and unfortunate.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

I'd be sh*tting a brick right now if I actually worked for either of these companies...

www.siriusxmfan.com has really covered this issue well. This is the new replacement board of Sirius Backstage (which is too slow and no longer allows new posters) and www.xmfan.com. www.siriusfan.com still works.

all of this whining from the xm side. yes technically sirius bought xm an technically sirius management is the majority management in charge. but that still does not mean that they will not go with the xm channels. what i really believe is that all redundancies should be eliminated regarding programming music and talk included. everything i read from this is that all of those duplicate channels will merge. that's MERGE not DELETE. i'm sure that those dj driven shows that are on both services can co-exist on the same decades channel. i'm sure that both playlists can be merged together. the thing that will make each service unique is the 19 specific channels that are on each service. please, get real. choices are NOT being dropped if both radios can pick up 60's vibrations, 70s on 7 and the big 80s and not the other service's equivalent.

to the whiners on both sides, if all you care about is commercial free music of stuff that you like, invest in an mp3 player and put whatever stuff you like on it and play it in your car. i got into satellite radio because nothing in my area was being broadcast that i liked. merger helped me out because i could not decide which service to go with.

listen, i don't listen to either company's music channels. i listen to the talk stuff. when are they going to merge those channels?

I'd be very surprised if they didn't try to use the DC space for music broadcasts when combining channels whenever possible.

I think that's what's meant by the programming decisions coming out of NYC. That is, the suits will be HQed up north, while as much as possible of the actual broadcasting would likely still come out of DC (likely with a greatly reduced amount of NYC space retained, almost entirely to service the Met, Howard and The Virus).

>> i listen to the talk stuff. when are they going to merge those channels? >>

To me that's actually the more interesting issue — music is music but there's probably a LOT of filler and syndicated crap on the talk channels that could easily be done away with.

This isn't a rumor, google Sirius Alacarte, it brings up the URL to the plans. If you do the same search for XM you find nothing.

http://www.sirius.com/packages/alacarte
http://www.sirius.com/packages/alacartegold

And I think people are getting confused between the 50 that you can chose to purchased through the alacarte plans and the 69 music stations that they are going to have. If you have the XM every thing plan for instance you don't need to worry about choosing which stations you want because you will continue to receive all of the stations.

These packages do not include free online listening to SIRIUS Internet Radio either.


Of course they have to merge channels. They are also going to rationalize sales, management, and technical staff. Think about this, before you all go off half cocked: What happens after the current channels are merged? That leaves a LOT of bandwidth left. Sure, some will be used for backseat TV, but I don't think that will be a huge seller. Cars just aren't selling, and people won't want to buy a $500 satellite radio. The obvious choice is to use the remaining bandwidth to add more interesting programming. I am optimistic and looking forward to what they are going to come up with.

There will not be any freed up bandwidth because the channels will have to be duplicated on each service.

Sirius' music channels are FAR superior to anything XM has. That being said, I think that all subscribers of XM and Sirius should (by the Holidays) have identical stations on every single satellite radio. That would make things so much easier to manage and get used to. I'm sick of this having to buy "The Best of" when we should be getting every channel, since they are in fact 1 service now. Mel is doing this right, but he should be merging the channels quicker than he is.

It is amazing how many folks are jumping to conclusions when Ryan has clearly said this is just a rumor. I think it would be wise to wait and see before making threats of canceling etc.

We knew this merger would bring the consolidation of like channels. I suspect there will be 50 like channels and then 19 or so unique channels to each service. But that is just a guess.

By the way the replacement forum for SBS is DRC (digitalradiocentral.com/forum.php) Lots of discussion on this topic.

Why even put rumours here? What's wrong with people expressing concern, it's as valid as the original post is.

Why not? Mel is turning the service into Clear Channel.

Yes I'm with you on this, very much so too. Cynemagic is one of the many channels that makes XM worth getting in the first place. I trust the folks at Sirius/XM are smart enough to have figured that out. Rev. Marty McLeod

Have both services. I like XM's music way beyond Sirius'. Siri's is just the same consultanted, tested, heard-it-to-death programming you get in any big FM market. I feared Mel would bring his radio salesman mentality to the sat radio world.
I've been keeping DirecTV (instead of going to FiOS) in large part to get relatively hi-fi XM.
I have a couple hundred hours of my favorite XM channels banked on the computer, which will take a long time to listen to. Maybe by then some sort of WiFi will make listening to internet radio possible in my highly locked-down office (forget the overpriced iPhone and AT&T data plans).
One constant of the radio business: the best programming eventually goes away.

Sounds okay to me, I hope the channel IDs and logos will be updated for the Stiletto 100.


Quit your belly-aching, and quit the service if your ass is rubbed-the-wrong-way over the new line-up! These companies are bleeding cash hand-over-foot; The only way they can survive is to truly "merge", and that means programming too!

Yeah, I'm still pissed and smarting from losing C-Span on Sirius a while back...and there are a few other take-aways I haven't liked; But I'm not naive enough to believe that these are "publicly funded companies", but rather, it is an entity in dire need of profits! Whatever it takes at this point, imo!

Why are people complaining about the complainers. I can understand complaining about one person totally dominating and repeating the same things over and over, but this is general concern.

Look at it this way, if McDonald's was losing money, but they changed the Big Mac into something that people didn't want to eat, would stockholders start writing to people on message boards saying "you're lucky to have a McDonald's, you may not have one".

The average consumer wouldn't CARE. It's not a charity. I will choose to resubscribe to XM next year after my multi-year sub is up for renewal only if they don't screw up the programming. The people who are more interested in Sirius "popping" for their stock prices had better pay attention to the XM culture and hope that they won't lose churn if they're not careful, and shouldn't try to shut up legitimate concern.

It seems like Sirius is dominating the culture now and that could be trouble because despite the hype and hope, XM has more music subs than Sirius, and there's a reason why they were chosen over Sirius.

This should be a warning sign.

Does anyone think BBC Radio One will come onto XM...

I do hope so, Does anyone have any scoop?

are you kidding me???...tony touch, dj premier, kay slay, dj muggs, statik selectah, dj eclipse????? that aint real enough for the XM hip-hoppers????? i like subsoniq and xm the rhyme much better then backspin on sirius ...but those HEAVYWEIGHT hip-hop dj's aint goin no where....sirius dj's are SOOOOO MUCH BETTER

What about CBC radio that has to come over to xm?

I hope they keep my favorite channel intact, Totally 70s! It by far beats the 70s on 7 with the exception of Casey Kasem reruns of AT-40 70s! I hope they bring that over. The jocks are awesome Magic Matt Alan, JJ Walker etc...

What I think will happen is they will look at the channels and formats side by side and then take the best of the two. I, for one, would welcome the change. I do think that Sirius XM will have an expanded library of music. Let's look at the glass as being half full.

I love these people who are whining and complaining about losing channels....do us all a big favor and CANCEL YOUR SUBSCRIPTION! Go back to local radio and tell me you won't be pining for the variety you get on satellite radio. Give me a break. I got satellite radio in my car for the expanded choices....what? you won't get the channel that airs music that no one buys anymore? OH NO! Let's not get rid of that.

The fact of the matter is, that hit music sells. Plain and simple. The crapcan stuff that is played on most of these channels has about 10 listeners and is taking up way too much bandwidth. Everyone wants choice and quality, but no one wants to pay for it. I'll guarantee you if the price jumps to $30 a month for each radio for good music and good quality sound, all of these "musicphiles" will say its a ripoff.

Some of you really need to grow a pair and get a life. It's subscription radio....either deal with it, or get rid of it. I love this merger, its the best thing that could ever happened for the future of this industry. Now I can get anything I want, anytime I want....its the ultimate in choice....and isn't that what subscription satellite radio is about?

Ken, they are not taking the "best of the two." They are favoring Sirius channels, which are bland and formulaic compared to XM's. It seemingly has nothing to do with quality (which, to be fair, is subjective), judging by the near-total gutting of XM.

To the anonymous poster who follows Ken: maybe you'll be able to get "anything [you] want, anytime [you] want" but many, many people will have had that luxury taken from them, since their preferred format/DJs/programmers/channels will be gone. More choice? You must have failed math in elementary school.

Ken, they are not taking the "best of the two." They are favoring Sirius channels, which are bland and formulaic compared to XM's. It seemingly has nothing to do with quality (which, to be fair, is subjective), judging by the near-total gutting of XM.

To the anonymous poster who follows Ken: maybe you'll be able to get "anything [you] want, anytime [you] want" but many, many people will have had that luxury taken from them, since their preferred format/DJs/programmers/channels will be gone. More choice? You must have failed math in elementary school.

Ken, they are not taking the "best of the two." They are favoring Sirius channels, which are bland and formulaic compared to XM's. It seemingly has nothing to do with quality (which, to be fair, is subjective), judging by the near-total gutting of XM.

To the anonymous poster who follows Ken: maybe you'll be able to get "anything [you] want, anytime [you] want" but many, many people will have had that luxury taken from them, since their preferred format/DJs/programmers/channels will be gone. More choice? You must have failed math in elementary school.

The trouble with saying that "it's a rumor" is that here on this site the rumors are usually found to be true (eventually) .. so if you want to pretend that all these rumors won't happen, be my guest..

"To the anonymous poster who follows Ken: maybe you'll be able to get "anything [you] want, anytime [you] want" but many, many people will have had that luxury taken from them, since their preferred format/DJs/programmers/channels will be gone. More choice? You must have failed math in elementary school."

Yeah, its called more choice when I can get every single professional sports team and college sports team under one service....its called "more choice", when I can get talk channels and other types of channels that were at one point exclusive to either service....and yes, its more choice when duplicate channels are removed, because at that point it crosses over to pure redundancy.

Also, where exactly is it set in stone that Sirius is "taking over" the music channels of XM? Is it because the guy who ran Sirius is now the head of SiriusXM? I know you guys have some weird grudge against Karmazin because he fired your favorite DJ 15 years ago, but come on....I mean, its really going onto pathetic. If you wanna blame someone for selling out, blame XM for selling itself to Sirius.

And you also state that its a "luxury"....you got it my friend. Luxuries are things in life that can be taken away at a moment's notice. DEAL WITH IT.