The Next Big Thing

If you are waiting for the next big thing, satellite radio is about to explode onto the horizon. We’ve been hearing about satellite radio for a while and the whole idea sounds pretty cool. You get unmatched clarity, digital sound and tons of programming choices, all coast-to-coast without interruption. For a reasonable monthly fee, you’ll be able to get radio programming free from static. Imagine driving a hundred miles without losing your favorite song right in the middle of the best part. It’s around the corner and the two giants making it happen are prepared for liftoff.

Sirius and XM are competing satellite radio companies planning to make this idea possible, and both hope to hook up long-haul truckers. Walter Kerner, director of special markets for Sirius, says they plan to launch their nationwide service right after Thanksgiving and will offer immediate nationwide, coast-to-coast service from orbiting satellites, giving an uninterrupted signal no matter where you are driving.

“We are excited about working closely with truckers and expect this to be an important market for satellite radio. We are working with all truck manufacturers, dealers, truckstops, major retailers and independent mobile audio specialty stores in order to have the units and tuner modules available and ready to install,” Kerner says.

Sirius will broadcast a 24-hour channel dedicated to America’s truckers, produced in collaboration by ABC and Sirius, featuring the “Midnight Cowboy” show. All Sirius music channels are 100-percent commercial-free.

XM says they will be up and running by the time you read this, and offers 71 music channels and 29 talk channels created by the company. Their content will be provided by NASCAR, USA Today, and The Country Music Hall of Fame. Chance Patterson, vice president of corporate affairs for XM, says truckers at the Great American Trucking Show in Dallas were excited about the opportunity to sign on with XM. “For the first time America’s truckers will be able to hear 71 music channels and 29 news and sports channels, all with clear digital sound. The Open Road channel, dedicated solely to our trucking fans, spotlights Bill Mack, The Satellite Cowboy, Dale Summers the Trucking Bozo and America’s greatest country music songs.” Patterson says.

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So, why would truckers pay for satellite radio when they can get regular radio for free? I know I never thought I’d pay to watch television, but I wouldn’t give up my cable TV subscription for anything. Satellite radio will be the next big thing, especially for truckers ready for a clear signal and lots of programming choices.

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