Sirius Chief Tempts Lawmakers with A La Carte Offer

22 March 2007

WASHINGTON DC: Mel Karmazin, ceo of Sirius Satellite Radio, is still attempting to sweeten the pill of a proposed merger between his company and rival XM Radio [WARC News: 02-Mar-07]. This time the carrot he dangles is a promise that subscribers will be able to opt-out from paying for channels they deem offensive.

Karmazin, testifying before the Senate antitrust subcommittee, said listeners could get unwholesome programming blocked. He added: "There would be a cost reduction to their bill in a more a la carte way. If somebody doesn't want it, not only are they not getting it, but they're not subsidizing it either."

In the past Karmazin has insisted that such channel-by-channel pricing is not possible with current technology.

The $11.4 billion (€8.57bn; £5.82bn) merger is facing stiff opposition among some legislators who believe it would be a "fabulous monopoly" for the companies' shareholders, but a "real bad deal" for customers.

Data sourced from Wall Street Journal Online; additional content by WARC staff