Satellite Radio Takes Off To The Great White North

    June 17, 2005
    WebProNews Staff

Canadian radio listeners will have the opportunity to subscribe to a pair of satellite radio providers.

Beauty, eh?

Sirius and XM Radio have received permission to begin marketing their services in Canada. The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Division informed the companies Thursday of its decision.

Both services offer satellite radio on a subscription basis. XM has about 4 million US subscribers currently, while Sirius has about 1.5 million. A current bit of speculation contends Sirius is considering a PC-based subscription offering to its channels, in an effort to boost listenership and revenues.

XM’s partner, Canadian Satellite Radio, will hold XM’s license in Canada. It offers over 150 channels of content to its subscribers. Sirius Canada, jointly owned by Sirius, the Canadian Broadcasting Company, and Standard Radio, will sell Sirius Radio in Canada; it offers over 120 content channels.

The two satellite companies have exclusive licenses with the various professional sports leagues in the US, and will likely seek similar agreements in Canada. Most of their existing channels run commercial-free, a hugely popular feature with their subscribers.

Both companies have begun reviewing the terms under which their Canadian partners have been issued their licenses, to determine what type of content they may offer to Canadian listeners coast to coast.

Sirius made news last October when it announced Howard Stern would be moving to Sirius at the end of his current contract. Sirius hopes fans of the self-styled “King of all Media” start signing up for the service when Mr. Stern begins his new contract on January 1, 2006.

David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business. Email him here.