Terrestrial radio is dead and buried and satellite radio is in intensive care as rumors leaked yesterday that Sirius XM has sought the advice of a firm that can help them get bankruptcy protection. Sirius begged to be allowed to merge with XM yet has done nothing to better the product and or service other than to raise prices for their best, multi-receiver subscribers while at the same time "XM-izing" the popular Sirius music channels.
Neither move is helping Sirius XM to raise the nearly $1,000,000,000 that they need to make their first debt payment for 2009 and EchoStar's CEO is lurking in the weeds waiting to pounce.
Some suggest that the potential bankruptcy filing is designed to bring the EchoStar buyout to a head as their CEO has the personal finances to bailout Sirius XM on his own - without the help of government propped up banks.
Others are saying that Dish, if they got Sirius XM, would gut the satellite radio provider and use the bandwidth to provide more 1080p HDTV content. Recent report in the New York Times show that despite the failure of traditional media like print magazines, newspapers and radio - television is still very popular in this deep economic recession. The booming ratings of last month's Super Bowl back up these statements.
It seems likely that Sirius XM is so damaged that EchoStar will be able to gobble them up and spit out some form of more meaningful media. Sirius XM proved to Congress, the country and most importantly their customers that they were nothing other than terrestrial radio company looking for consolidation to cut costs but not better the product. Hopefully Dish Network and EchoStar can fix the mess and or re-apropriate the bandwidth for better entertainment value for the dollar.
Sirius XM stock finished trading yesterday at $0.11 per share down from nearly $4.00 a share a year ago.