October 20, 2004 9:29 AM PDT
XM Satellite scores $650 million baseball deal
(continued from previous page)
Sirius trumpeted the Stern signing as the biggest win in the embryonic history of satellite radio networks, but XM's baseball deal may carry a smaller price tag. Sirius has estimated that costs for Stern's show, including the performer's compensation, will total $100 million annually. According to Sirius, it would need 1 million new subscribers to cover the costs of the deal. It is believed that Sirius was also bidding for the MLB contract.
Industry analysts have hailed Sirius' Stern win as a major turning point for satellite radio, which has struggled to attract subscribers and stay ahead of mounting debts. The MLB deal is likely to inject even more life into the industry, as the baseball league has already proved that it can lure fans with nontraditional broadcasting efforts, as it has done with its Web-based programming.
"This is a wonderful opportunity for Major League Baseball, given XM's ever-increasing national availability," Selig said. "Our fans will be able to listen to the local broadcasts of their favorite teams from anywhere in the country."