Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Sirius XM Plummeting To Earth

One reason TDP has been pushing hard for increased TV news coverage of NASCAR-related issues is because the economy has been forcibly restructuring the sport during these last three months.

ESPN.com's Ed Hinton (click here) just called the economic impact of this recession his top NASCAR story of 2008.

Aside from the obvious news about drivers and sponsorships, there are a myriad of NASCAR issues that seem to be escaping the mainstream media. One of them is the struggle of NASCAR's satellite radio partner Sirius XM.

Sirius and XM started individually with a lot of promise and exclusive sports programming, including NASCAR. Sirius XM currently has the satellite radio contract to carry the Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series races live.

Unfortunately, the recently merged company also has about one billion dollars of debt and Sirius XM stock has plummeted (click here) to less than fifteen cents a share.

Recently, (click here) the New York Times painted a less than optimistic picture of the struggles of the Sirius XM corporation. Here is an excerpt:

Its balance sheet is larded with nearly $1 billion of debt that matures in 2009 and must be refinanced, but try finding a sympathetic banker in our current hard-luck environment.

Sirius XM has nearly 20 million paying customers, many of them evangelists for the service, but what does that matter if you can’t pay your debts?The company has never turned a profit and cannot predict when it ever will.

These are not good words for NASCAR fans who are used to enjoying the Sirius 24-hour line-up of NASCAR content that includes both original shows and live races.

Since the final 2008 racing weekend in Homestead, it has been Sirius that has carried the load in terms of providing updated news, interviews and conversation as the sport goes through this painful off-season experience. Both SPEED and ESPN have failed miserably on the TV side.

While syndicated MRN and PRN shows are helpful and the NASCAR news on the Internet is regularly updated, there has been no comparison to the parade of NASCAR personalities and journalists who have appeared live on Sirius since the 2008 season ended. For hardcore fans, Sirius is a valuable tool for keeping up with the sport.

It was 2005 when NASCAR announced (click here) that it was switching satellite radio partners from XM to Sirius beginning with the 2007 season. The price tag for the entire deal was $107.5 million.

NASCAR likes to slice the pie into many pieces to generate as much revenue as possible. Among other things, Sirius is the satellite radio alternative to the commentary from the three NASCAR Sprint Cup TV broadcasters.

It allows fans to either listen to the races strictly on Sirius or use the audio from the Sirius broadcast while watching the video from the TV partners. The TV mute button is very popular with NASCAR on Sirius listeners.

DirecTV recently announced (click here) that Hot Pass is cancelled for 2009 because of the rotten economy and the fact that the service relied directly on subscribers to foot the entire bill. It was not very clear if 250 thousand of DirecTV's 13 million subscribers would add Hot Pass for next season.

That move eliminated the only other TV option for fans who wanted to watch the races but avoid the Fox, TNT or ESPN announcers. Now, Sirius and the MRN and PRN radio broadcasts are the last resort. Unfortunately, the terrestrial radio is not carried in some areas while Sirius is available directly by satellite nationwide.

As fans know, the newly merged Sirius XM NASCAR group (click here) is still sorting things out. Gone are shows from several drivers and in limbo are pros like Claire B. Lang (click here) and other content formerly carried by XM. January should truly be a month of transition for the Sirius team.

The word bankruptcy is being tossed around (click here) should Sirius XM be unable to refinance the billion dollar debt. Financial experts have lots of opinions, but one big problem is the lack (click here) of new car sales. Sirius was originally an automotive-based service and still relies on that slice of the pie as the foundation of the business.

One popular opinion is for Sirius to drop the monthly fees and allow anyone to buy a portable receiver and enjoy the service. This would bring more advertising to the channels, but it is clear the alternative is not working. With HD radio and Internet audio streaming in full swing, one thing is for sure. Sirius XM must act now to avoid the end of satellite radio as we know it.

The Daly Planet welcomes comments from readers. Just click on the COMMENTS button below and follow the easy instructions. The rules for posting are located on the right side of the main page. Thank you for taking the time to stop by.


Anonymous said...

I've never understood the reasoning behind some of the programming on Sirius/XM and the huge amount of money they pay to some of their on-air talent. While I realize there's a certain segment of our society who lives and breathes the words of Howard Stern (I'll never understand the popularity of this "person" other than with the lowest common denominator of adolescent males, IMHO), to pay him $50 million dollars was totally irresponsible. The same can be said for shows like Martha, Oprah and Gale King. I don't know anyone who subscribes to pay radio to listen to tips from Martha or the latest news on Oprah's book club selection.

When Sirius and XM merged, I feared something like this would happen. What they've done to the music lineup has been awful. And if we lose satellite radio, those of us who live in the boonies or in areas where Nascar doesn't exist on local radio, we're going to be crap out of luck.

Daly Planet Editor said...


I hope you are sitting down. Stern was signed for five years. Each year is worth $100 million for a total of $500 million dollars.

Entertainment is very different from sports. We deal in rights fees and quality of product in decision-making.

The NY Times article linked in my column has comments about the Stern deal and how it affected the company before and after the merger.

Ultimately, with or without Stern, the issues with the satellite radio industry are coming to a head rather quickly.


Anonymous said...

YIKES! I didn't realize it was a year! I thought the $100K was the total for his contract!

I've been leaning at getting it and by the time I decided to the merger was in the air and I wanted to wait to see what would come out of it.

:sigh: Was looking forward to geting Hot Pass once I got all moved and now that may be gone and now this :(.

Daly Planet Editor said...

At the time, Stern was on top of the game and truly a radio star. Now, he has faded completely and the NY Times article talks about the problems this has caused for both Sirius and Stern.

I don't want to get off-track on that issue because often media companies try to strike while the iron is hot. The Stern deal could have paid-off if the economy held and the new technology of iPhones, HD radio and Wi-Fi had not advanced so quickly.

Now, between no new car sales and the fact that Wi-Fi and free audio content is everywhere, Sirius is in for a very tough time.


TexasRaceLady said...

I was considering getting Sirius/XM for this season. Since I'm out in the boonies, for real, I guess I'm SOL.

Add to it, no Hotpass --- I'm reduced to TV for the races.

Anonymous said...

I think the Stern move was a huge net positive for Sirius. The day they signed him, they had 600,000 subscribers. A year later they had 3 million. Even if half of the 1.4 million new listeners signed up for Stern - at $12/month those 700,000 paid for his 5-year/$500million dollar deal before the first year was up. Since then Sirius grew to more than 8-million subscribers and that is still pre-merge-with-XM. Before they signed Stern, they were about to go under to XM. They ended up effectively buying XM, as this "merger" will result in XM being liquidated/folded into Sirius. The management is all Sirius.

The shareholders of Sirius just approved an up-tp 50-1 reverse stok split as well as the ability to issue more shares this year. So, Sirius may not get financing, but they will be able to sell more shares on the market. It will highly dilutive to the shareholders now, who have already been diluted to pennies, but there will be buyers (Full disclosure: I rode it from $1 to $18, sold it. Bought it again at $7, lost a ton when it went to $3. Then I shorted it at $2 all the way down to near-$0 now and will buy again when they have a new offering).

The good news (getting back to NASCAR) is that Sirius is launching a new satellite this year (a nearly $1 billion undertaking itself), and though they in need of big cash, they are not going anywhere. Once they get out of their real estate, let some contracts expire, renegotiate with NASCAR and others, the format of Sirius will be very viable. Anyone who has it loves it. NASCAR won't get nearly as much money from them for rights next time around (if the deal isn't renegotiated sooner), but I believe it will continue. Terrestrial radio is dead. Look at the numbers. Listen to even the biggest shows on all of radio - Rush, Dr. Laura, Hannity, you name it. The ads are for bogus vitamin supplements and weird condo deals in Vegas. They can't sell an ad to a legitimate corporation to save their lives, even on the biggest shows in radio. Radio needs a new revnue model similar to cable TV and Sirius is it.

There was a time when Comcast was a penny stock and people thought it would fail. If you invested $1000 in Comcast in 1985 you'd be a millionaire today.

Anonymous said...

PS The things that killed Sirius were the 18-month merger and the destruction of domestic car sales. This is a company that had $922 million in revenue last year. They'll make it out the other end eventually. There is too much upside.

Anonymous said...

I've had XM for almost five years now and truly enjoyed it for almost the entire time. But the merged, watered down music and the way they've handled the merger and many other things already discussed has me just about ready to cancel the service. I live in Atlanta and terry FM here is horrible...so I guess I'm going to load up my iPod when the hammer falls on yet another thing I enjoy.

Oh, did I mention I'm a Petty fan since 1971? Sigh...

Sophia said...

I remember Howard Stern huge contract but forgot the exact amount. Yikes! So not worth it and a sad reflection on society as mentioned by Darbar.

I am at the point I hate of hearing about ANYBODY going out of business...but the satellite radio was a huge risk...and I heard some were upset when stations started adding advertising...though I realize Land radio is worse.

Anonymous said...

I think the real problem for Sirius/XM is 'regular people' who won't pay for what they can get for free (radio in general.) Just not worth it for most, specialized programming included. I can get if you are someone who travels for a living, in your car all the time, but for the rest of us--it just wasn't worth it. Just not enough customers overall. We have a 'shockjock' who rivals Howard, too. So even *less* need here in central NY.

Anonymous said...

I'v eehard that analysts say XM/Sirius is likely to go under in 2009--the business model, they claim, is unsustainable.

That's too bad. I really enjoy the NASCAR channel. I've gotten a lot of news from it this off season.

JD, do you know what happened re: Steve Post on Sirius? He was hosting middays with Chocolate Myers, but today, Rick Benjamin was in, speaking in such a way that suggested he was the permanent co-host.

Dot said...

I never understood paying for radio. Maybe my age is showing.

It's funny how Kyle Petty's words about mergers works in different scenarios, from race teams to satellite radio.

I guess the world of living large has come to an end no matter what the subject. I just wonder how everything went to hell all at once.

Anonymous said...

My understanding is that the bulk of what Stern rec'd was in the form of Sirius stock, not cash, and the last I saw there was nothing public about what part of the stock he received has or has not been sold. As I recall Sirius was trading at $6 per share or above when the Stern deal was done. Stern may have made (or lost) a fortune.

RPM said...

There is one other nationaly syndicated radio show I know of. SpeedFreaks does a pretty good job of covering all types of racing including NASCAR. And they aren't afraid to say what they really think.

Anonymous said...

If XM Sirius would put the NASCAR channel on the internet radio- Then I would buy it!

Anonymous said...

Claire B. Lang was moved from XM to Sirius beginning on 8 Dec 08. She's suppose to be returning for a regular show this week, but Sirius is stringing along the listeners as to what time slot she was be in. Hopefully, she gets the primetime slot from 4-7 eastern since her millions of fans are used to hearing her at that time. I signed up for the so-called "Best of Sirius" for Claire's show, but if they don't put her in place of the annoying Dave Moody, I'll probably be cancelling that option and sticking with XM music.

Anonymous said...

As per Claire's blog she's going to be hosting Dialed in Wed-Fri nights at 7 p.m. and also anchoring the pre- and post-race shows during the weekends. I had also hoped that she would get a slot during the day as I usually can't listen in the evenings and I've always loved her show.

What I'm really disappointed about is that it's likely that the shows from Michael Waltrip and Dale, Jr. won't be returning. I haven't heard anything definite but it's been said that the money might not be there for those shows to continue. That's unfortunate because I'd rather there be shows from the drivers in which they're able to give their opinions on racing and anything else they want than repetitive call-in shows that discuss the same topics over and over again. As a big fan of Michael's I enjoyed listening to his XM show more than any other NASCAR radio or TV programming. Sirius/XM needs more unique content not less but their financial issues certainly present a problem.

I like listening to The Morning Drive on 128 the most, but what I like the best about all the shows is the interviews with the drivers and others in the garage area. If XM/Sirius were to go under I would very much miss being able to hear the drivers speak at length in a way they can't on TV or in print.

Anonymous said...

Just checked the Sirius website and now it has this for Claire. What a waste! Even I won't want to listen to her that late! A lot of folks with only car receivers enjoyed listening to Claire during the afternoon drive home. I have a unit I take between home and work, but it's really hard to remain focused on a radio show this late in the evening:

"Dialed In w/ Claire B. Lang -- New Show!
Wednesdays through Fridays 7 pm - 10 pm ET
Get Dialed In to the latest news and information from the track with veteran NASCAR host Claire B. Lang. Count on one of the most trusted voices in the garage for the latest inside scoop, exclusive interviews and to take your phone calls. If you want to be in the know about NASCAR, don't miss this wildly popular original program."

Anonymous said...

I am a diehard sat radio fan and an early Sirius adopter (2004). I have an IPOD, cd changer, and built in harddrive in my car and 90 percent of what I listen to is XM with the best of sirius (my latest car came with xm and I wanted to minimize dash space).

Obviously Sirius XM has financial problems revolving mostly around their large debt, but to say it will fail is a bit premature. Even if it goes Chapter 11, It has too many subscribers and a steady revenue stream to disappear. The merger will lead to lower operating costs over the next few years, and it is still adding millions of subscribers every year.

You cannot even compare sat radio to regular radio. Regular radio is terrible, between commercials every five minutes to awful reception and generic top 40 stations. And honestly 12-15 bucks a month is not a lot of money for a superior service.

The music channels and Nascar 128 pay for themselves. I am also a big Stern fan and I don't consider myself the lowest common demonitor. I'm 42, married with 3 children and a Teacher of the Handicapped with a Master's Degree in Education. As for Stern being irrelevant, the estimate is that 6-7 million people joined sat radio just for him. Ok, so that is not the 12-13 million people that used to listen to him on FM, but I can't think of any other broadcasther who would bring that large a fanbase with him, even Rush.

Anonymous said...

i like sirius. my only gripe is that it is good to ax the commercials. now if the would just ax the dj's also. i hate the chit chat on terry radio more than the commercials.

Daly Planet Editor said...

There is a new post up about ESPN and the 2009 season. Please refresh your browser.

Thanks, JD

Anonymous said...

As an employee of a terrestrial radio station, I pray everyday for that satellite to plummet to earth. Sorry.

Anonymous said...

Just checked the Sirius website and now it has this for Claire. What a waste! Even I won't want to listen to her that late!

It's fine with me. As knowledgeable as she is, she's seemingly incapable of asking a question without asking another question at the same time and giving her opinion of part of the answer at the same time before allowing the guest to answer.

I find that so annoying that I stopped listening to her on XM.

Anonymous said...

I started with XM years ago, switched to Sirius when Nascar moved. I still love it and just this week talked 3 more friends into subscribing. I did cancel my 3rd radio due to cost, so I'm down to 2 now. Still, have no intention of dumping it and will listen up until the last minute if it does go down. I just don't think it will happen.

Like the rest of the world, we are all recovering from too big of a phony economic boom where we all paid too much for things most of us should never have bought in the first place.

Things will recover slowly. Some will make it, some won't. I am confident Sirius will make it and will remain a dedicated listener to the best radio on earth!

Anonymous said...

Is Dale Jr's unrestricted show one of the shows that has been cut?..the only reason I got xm to begin with was to listen to his show..

Anonymous said...

The window on Satellite Radio is closing. The future is in IP radio and there will be more choices and all of it for free. I hate to see the passing of XM. That was good radio. The stuff Sirius provides is way too commercial. Why pay for it if it isn't much different than the regular radio.

Also, my understanding is that the original licenses require that Satellite radio charge a subscription fee. They can lower it but the fee can not go away completely.

Anonymous said...

IP radio is all free until they have to start paying the higher royalty licenses being proposed that will bankrupt them...lol

Anonymous said...

As an employee of a terrestrial radio station, I pray everyday for that satellite to plummet to earth. Sorry.

Perhaps if your employers ran a better radio station, people wouldn't be turning to satellite in the first palce.

What does it say if you give away your service and people would still rather pay someone else for it?

Anonymous said...

I loved my XM radio. Then the merger. XM's famous real person on the telephone disappeared. So called increased NASCAR content was only available at additional cost. Technical assistance was reduced to the suggestion that you turn the radio off for a while. So I cancelled both ubscriptions. Now I live in a radio free world.

Daly Planet Editor said...

The info right now is that there are no driver-themed shows on the newly merged NASCAR line-up.

We do need to stay up to date because things are a bit flexible at this point.

TDP will keep you posted.


Anonymous said...

I am not suprised by this, I am giving serious consideration to canceling both of my radios. I'm no longer entertained by the programing. The on air talent if you want to call it that leaves much to be dsired. I will never understand what anyone sees in Claire B. Lang. But that's just my opinion. Then they cancel Power Shift, an all Motor Sports show covering all forms of racing, leaving the fans of those forms of racing with no coverage. Not bringing back Dale Jr. or Micheal Waltrip. I think if it does come crashing down around them they brought it on themselves.

Anonymous said...

HBO still manages to stay in business with "free" TV everywhere, and even multitudes of expanded basic cable channels.

It all boils down to quality content. HBO provides a premium product, and people buy it.

There are way too many freeloaders in society. If you want something, be willing to pay for it. Don't expect Lowes, Coca-Cola, or Budweiser to foot the bill for you.

Anonymous said...

As an XM subscriber, I was so disappointed when they merged with Sirius. I only kept my subscription because I loved Claire B's Dialed In. Since I spend so little time in my car anymore, I can't justify paying more for Best of Sirius on XM just to hear one show for the one or two times a week I happen to be in my car during the show. I guess when my current subscription is up in a couple of months, I'm gone. I'll really miss Dialed In, but life will go on.

Anonymous said...

My husband, an OTR trucker, was one of the first subscribers to XM way back when. We now have five. (Thank goodness for the family plan!) We bought one for my parents one year & my mom said it was the best present she ever received. There is a huge market out there for satellite radio, but there's still a place for local radio. (Try checking the internet when your batteries are dead & the power's out!) That being said, we wouldn't want to be without the XM's - you get spoiled really quickly.
I missed NASCAR when it went to Sirius, but I survived. I can still listen to NCAA basketball & MLB - without having to subscribe to something else on Dish Network or on the internet.
Let's hope that they can file for bankruptcy protection, restructure, & carry on as a healthier corp. for it.

Anonymous said...

I am a loyal subscriber Sirius. I have to say that in all my years following NASCAR the BEST program ever is SIRIUS SPEEDWAY and the best way to watch/listen to a race is on Sirius 128. Especially the driver-to-crew channels. Mute the the 'talking heads' and listen to MRN call a race. Try that and you will never listen to FOX,TNT,ESPN calling a race unless the race in at a PRN track. (PRN sucks at calling a race) SIRIUS SPEEDWAY ROCKS MY WORLD!!!!

Clair B Lang will never replace "The Goodfather of Motorsports" Dave Moody and the gang.

Vicky D said...

I always thought satellite radio sounded like a great idea, although I don't personally have it since my commute to work/home is only 15 minutes. While we were on vacation we enjoyed it immensely though. DirectTV has it for the music stations although Nascar is not one of them.

boyd said...

As a subscriber to Sirius, I have to chime in here.
I got the radio for Howard Stern the minute he left terrestrial radio. I enjoy his humor and enjoy the show.
When NASCAR came over, it was a bonus. I listened when I had heard Howards show.
I drive a lot in my job, and hated having to switch from station to station only to find Rush Limbaugh. That's why I got it.
I hope they can keep on plugging away. Dave Moody is a great radio host and helps pass time on the road.

Anonymous said...

Going back to the person who wanted Claire B. to be on during the afternoon 3-7 time frame...

I don't think you'll ever see her on that slot on Sirius NASCAR Radio. Sirius Speedway is probably the most popular show on the channel, and I know it's my favorite. No way anyone will be replacing them.

Hope everything works out for Sirius XM, I really enjoy the NASCAR Channel and hope to keep it for a long time!

Anonymous said...

Why would you pay for radio? That is what EVERYONE that got in my truck said. One hour later, they were told, stop playing with my sat. It's supposed to stay on Da Boneyard!! Now, since the merge,I let them change to Hairnation,with permission! Riding for hours and not wanting to change channels, no crap commercials, no same 5 songs. If I were Obama,I would order all radio towers cut down and of course, recycled, and place the DJ's / employees in special camps!!!

Anonymous said...

JD...the blame for the turmoil lays at the feet of Mel Karmazin. Mr. Karmazin is the genius who hyped Westwood One into the(sarc)programming powerhouse(/sarc) it is today. He forgot that the first part of the marketing equation is Product (along with price, place and promotion), He was too enamored with price (stock price) and gutted CBS Radio (and Westinghouse) for short term stock gains. Once that task was accomplished, he went to Sirius, to implement that same business model.

One can stand only so much Baba Booey (on the CB and on Sirius). One nice thing is that Escape has come to Sirius as part of the merger. That said--yes--I enjoy Moody's delightfully hokey first time horn fanfare. I think Poole and the "Comcastic" Bagman are worth their weight in Baglefuls...and provide good comedy and information on Channel 128.

The problems with terrestrial radio and satellite radio go back to the marketing equation, where ALL four "P's" must interact. A broadcaster balances product, price, place and promotion--an operator does not.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the info. I have been a subscriber for over 6 years and love the programming across the board. I hope they can pull it together.

Anonymous said...

We have both services and IMO, Sirius has handled Nascar 1000x's better. TMD is a great show with David Poole giving his raw opinion, like it or not. TV never says anything against NASCAR...Poole isn't scared. And Moody's show is fantastic in the PM. I was never a fan of CBL. We should all hope this form of media survives, because it allows us more access to the sport we love, Drivers, Crew cheifs, and even spotters and owners. Aside from the internet, this is the best source of Nascar news, and I hope it survives.

Anonymous said...

I really miss the Drivers Seat with John and Buddy and Ricky. Wasn't Buddy doing the night show several days a week? Will he continue to do that, at least Monday and Tuesday since Claire's going to be on Wednesday thru Friday?

Anonymous said...

"As an employee of a terrestrial radio station, I pray everyday for that satellite to plummet to earth. Sorry."

Wow, an employee of an aging medium wants the innovation and entertainment of sat radio to die, big surprise. Terrestrial radio will never die or go away, even if sat radio one day ever hit like 50, 60 million subscribers that would still leave 300 million people for the awful generic fm and am stations to fight over.

IF Sirius XM goes the bankruptcy route, I think they will still be ok. I have never heard of a company or product that had 20 million users (and counting) that outright failed. The selling point of sat radio is that you don't have to bang your head into the steering wheel when you flip through 10 stations on your fm preset and only hear commercials or the same phil collins or jonas brothers songs when you actually do find music. And FM "talk" radio is 5 minutes of talk 20 minutes of commercials.

GinaV24 said...

Well, I hope that Sirius does stay afloat, or aloft, as the case may be. I bought an XM radio when they started offering NASCAR and was highly annnoyed when a year later they switched it all to Sirius. Since listening to races via satellite was the primary reason I had bought the service, I wound up cancelling my XM service and buying a whole new rig with Sirius. I've had it for several years now and I do enjoy it, plus I found the Sirius receiver easier to use than XM's version. I find that I do listen mostly to NASCAR and its great when I'm traveling and I can catch up with qualifying and such on Friday's during my drive home -- especially great when ESPN has the coverage since they can't seem to figure out how to cover qualifying -- I have a clue for them -- SHOW the cars on the track! I've never cared for Claire and I can't stand Poole and Snider on the Morning Show; on the other hand, Moody makes me laugh even when he sometimes makes me mad, so its a good way to end the day after work. I'd hate to lose another "option" for following the sport since IMO the radio is much better than TV is -- they have much less bias.

Anonymous said...

I've never had XM/Sirius satellite radio but I got to try it in a rental car over Thanksgiving.

After my experience in the rental car, I will NEVER pay for satellite radio. Yes, I liked the song selections on the "80s" station, but the darned radio kept losing signal and MORE OFTEN than terrestrial radio did in those locations. (BTW I was in the hills of Northeastern Pennsylvania)

In other words, why should I pay for service that is WORSE than the "free" stuff?

Granted, for those of you living in Nebraska, you probably don't have those problems.

The Loose Wheel said...

I would hate to see my SIRIUS get dropped =(

I really do enjoy my NASCAR, music and occasional NFL stuff. The games i can get during the season (Not many Lions games here in Arizona) as well as the races i can get and driver audio i can get too.

But JD we have seen over the last couple years with Hotpass and now this that even though you have a die-hard following...sometimes it isn't enough in this business/profit oriented world.

Anonymous said...

I've been a XM subscriber since 2004.

One of the reasons I chose XM in 2004 was its NASCAR coverage.

I elected to stay with XM going into 2007 due in part to what became the Power Shift program. It promised to provide me with all the NASCAR talk I wanted plus the coverage of other motorsports I enjoy. Power Shift filled a niche that even cable channels like Speed and ESPN fail to fill quite as well.

The program had assembled a great roster of personalities across several motorsports arenas who inform and entertain on a regular basis and I have been an avid listener ever since. So much so, that as a NASCAR-only show and channel in 2005, I listened an average of thirty minutes a day. In its last incarnation, I listened to the full program nightly.

Five nights a week the Power Shift program offered coverage and discussion of motorsports events carried on the Sirius Xm platform that no other show currently offers.

The company is not helping themselves in the long run when they eliminate programming that makes them valuable to the consumer.

PatrickD said...

What about the very popular POWER SHIFT Total Motor Sports show formerly on XM144? It was abrubtly cancelled without any notice to subscribers. Nascar is not the only auto sport out there. Power Shift consumed the 8-10pm EST timeslot for the past 3+ years, and the hosts, Joe Castello & Thom Kaufold brough new light beyond Nascar, with Indy, NHRA, F1, and more...but still kept Nascar in the mix. We can still get a very tiny bit of Joe's wealth of insight and reporting on Motor sports via his blog (JoeCastelloRacing.blogspot.com). They will be loosing many customers over moves like this. XM subscibers no longer can get any motor sports with their normal package. We are now forced to pay a premium for the "Best of" crap, and then nothing other than Nascar is available, and what is there, is redundant and even repeated at times. Why take a very popular show, and just desolve? Do we really need Moody and the others discussing only Nascar for 8+ hours at a time without any mix up?

XM/Sirius is doomed. They fail to listen to the listeners. They have expected them to just stay subscribed after the loosly planned merger, and drastic changes to programing. The seem to only be concentrating on the 'stick-and-ball' sports, and that type of programming can be found anywhere, expecially on AM/FM and PodCasts, and other internet sources.

So many of the channels have changed, and find little interest any longer. I say farewell - bring back Power Shift, and I'll pay a premium!!

SCOTTY said...

When you take into consideration the total lack of consideration that the management at Sirius/XM appears to have for their subscribers, I am not the least bit suprised by any of this. I have two radios and have been with XM since the begining. I am giving serious consideration to canceling both. First they cancel the only motorsports show they had worth listening to, Power Shift, now they aren't bringing back Dale Jr or Michael Waltrip. They expect me to pay extra for sub-standard NASCAR coverage, hel I'd pay extra not to hear Claire B. Lang. I say that whatever happens they brought it on themselves. BRING BACK POWER SHIFT AND I WILL KEEP MY RADIOS ON!!!

Anonymous said...

PowerShift sounds like what Sirius Speedway USED to be - before NASCAR came to Sirius.

The Loose Wheel said...

I was just about to say that Tom. Speedway has made no bones of what they used to be, and in return for NASCAR putting their name on a channel it is in turn owed to them to be a NASCAR program.

Speedway still has non-NASCAR people on from time to time and to me still has the ability to talk about other things than just strictly NASCAR.

It sucks that a show about racing in general gets bumped but its the double edged sword of what the perception of motorsports is in contrast to the general sports world. if it had more respect in general you would see more well rounded programing but unfortunately it does not.