XM Satellite Radio Goes Live

XM Satellite Radio launched its service Sept. 25, becoming the first subscription-based satellite radio service to go live.

The service features 100 stations. There are 71 music channels – more than 30 of them commercial-free – and 29 channels of sports, talk, children’s and entertainment programming. Thirteen news channels cover national, world and financial developments. CNBC, CNN Headline News, CNNfn, Fox News, ABC News & Talk, USA Today, Bloomberg, BBC World Service, C-SPAN and XM News are among the news channels.

XM’s main competitor, Sirius Satellite Radio, expects to launch its service before year-end. Sirius lists Freightliner and Sterling among its partners for hardware installation.

XM was launched initially in the Dallas/Fort Worth and San Diego markets. In October, XM expected to expand coverage to the southwestern and southeastern United States. The company expects to expand to the rest of the country this month, and lists Freightliner and Peterbilt as its partners.

“What we are doing is launching a powerful new communications and entertainment medium – what we call ‘Radio to the Power of X,'” said XM President Hugh Panero. XM had scheduled its launch for Sept. 12, but postponed it following the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, D.C. “Today, like the federal government, the Congress and the stock market, business needs to get back to business,” Panero said. “And that includes new businesses like ours.”

XM says its service will cost $9.99 per month, while Sirius plans to charge $12.95 per month for its service. Subscribers will need to purchase satellite-ready radios to receive the services. Such radios will be available through the companies’ automotive and trucking partners or at national electronics stores.

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