America News: Sirius achieves 6 million subscribers; XM 7.8 million

America News:  Sirius achieves 6 million subscribers; XM 7.8 million

Sirius Satellite Radio ended 2006 with just over 6.02 million subscribers, up 82% over the company's 2005 year-end subscriber base of 3.32 million.

According to the New York Times, XM’s subscriber base expanded by more than 30%; the company ended the year with between 7.7 and 7.9 million customers.

The New York Times reports that while Sirius officials have long promoted the idea of a merger between the two satellite radio rival companies, XM has not commented.

Both companies have continued to lose millions of dollars due to marketing and other subscriber acquisition expenses. If the companies were to merge and effectively double their subscriber base, the new company could reduce programming costs through increased negotiating clout, removal of duplicative channels and elimination of redundant employees.

Both companies have exclusive agreements with the automobile companies: XM has exclusive arrangements with GM, Honda, Hyundai, Nissan and Porsche; Sirius has similar alliances with BMW, DaimlerChrysler, Ford, Kia and VW-Audi.

About 63% of XM’s subscribers are new car buyers; Sirius’s new subscribers are derived equally from new car and after-market sales.

To read the full New York Times article, click here

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