Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Internet Radio Creeps Up On NASCAR And Sirius

The recent TDP columns on the struggles of NASCAR fans to get Sirius Channel 128 online drew some great responses. Several emails were from new providers of NASCAR radio shows being transmitted via the Internet.

As you may remember, the issue revolved around the fact that serving the NASCAR fans who want to stream Sirius Channel 128 online still has not been addressed. Sirius already streams many channels online, but NASCAR content is prohibited under a contract that gives those rights to our friends at Turner Sports.

NASCAR.com has never offered any online radio shows during the weekdays and Turner has been focused on projects like RaceBuddy and Trackpass. What fans are asking is simply to be able to pay a small fee to listen to the Sirius NASCAR weekday shows on a computer or cell phone.

Since we have been met with a wall of silence on this issue, it might be time for another wake-up call. Internet radio is basically free. There are no expensive rights to buy and no special equipment to purchase. iRadio can be heard on desktops, laptops and cell phones with ease.

The failure of The NASCAR Media Group, Turner Interactive and Sirius to hammer out a deal on this issue is giving some folks a golden opportunity to step in and seize the day. Sirius might have the rights to the races, but they certainly do not have a corner on NASCAR content or interviews.

There are already several high-profile independent NASCAR-themed radio programs running on the Internet. Ultimately, it's just a matter of time until this content is gathered in one place and offered to fans in a more cohesive manner. With the current availability of many former NASCAR media members now working on a freelance basis, the talent pool for this type of venture is high.

The ultimate value of the Sirius NASCAR channel is the content, with the vast majority of it coming during the weekdays. The downfall is the distribution system which relies on satellite antenna access to function at all times. Many fans told us of sitting in their cars in the driveway listening to Sirius because the receiver came with the vehicle. If only they could get the same signal on their home computer.

People only fight over money if they have a reason to do so. Should NASCAR's Internet radio providers get organized, they may provide a real alternative to the Sirius 128 weekday line-up with many of the same guests, interviews and interactive fan conversations.

Time for some senior management types to review this issue before Daytona. By then, many of us may be listening to coverage provided by an entirely new set of NASCAR radio announcers. No monthly fee, no clumsy receiver and a world of new possibilities.

For your reference on this topic. Click the title to read the column:

Sirius finds a knight in shining armor. (February 22, 2009)

No Sirius NASCAR channel on iPhones. (June 23, 2009)

Time to get Sirius NASCAR content online. (August 3, 2009)

Off-season priority: Online streaming of Sirius NASCAR Channel 128. (December 14, 2009)

We welcome your comments on this topic. To add your opinion, just click on the comments button below. This is a family-friendly website, please keep that in mind when posting. Thanks for taking the time to stop by The Daly Planet.


Steve said...

Seems like we are just beating a dead horse. Sirius has many portable and at home alternatives, so there is no need to camp out in the driveway.

If you really want to listen, then pony up the 6.99 and get another receiver.

Daly Planet Editor said...


If only it were that simple. Sirius does not work indoors (for example in an office) without a designated satellite antenna.

It does not go to the health club, or have any level or portability.

For NASCAR fans, the choice between buying a receiver and paying for all the Sirius channels and being able to click and listen online to 128 only is not a tough call.

This is an additional revenue stream that none of the parties can grasp. Profit sharing or even a season for free would bring an entirely new audience.

I already use podcasts and live Internet radio as a Sirius alternative. Pretty soon this might not be an issue at all.


Vicky D said...

Well I won't be getting this as it seems like spending money on only one channel plus I don't commute a very long distance so am not in the car long enough to enjoy XM/Sirius, although the radio stations in Houston are awful. I need something different to listen to. I don't quite understand how satellite radio works either. It seems like it's always about spending more money. Years ago when my son was attending Georgia Tech and calling the basketball, hockey & baseball games I could listen to live streaming via WREK and that was great it was like I was there in person and that was free.

Anonymous said...

As a shareholder of Sirius, I am personally glad you are not the CEO of the company. The needs of the fans and then needs of the company do not mix on this issue. Some of your suggestions for actions the company take are simply laughable within the context of running an effective business.

earl06 said...

This just baffles me.

Sirius 128 has the worst low-buck commercials for total scam products. If they were streamed by Turner on the internet, maybe some legitimate businesses would buy ads. Turner sells ads, right? Win-win!

Steve said...

I guess I'm lucky enough to have a window at work.

Those in larger cities can take advantage of the terrestrial repeater signal for indoor usage.

I've never tried to stream music on a phone, I guess that is the only truly portable solution if you want to listen while you work out. Of course, who wants to listen to Moody or the Bagman while on the stairmaster?

Steve said...

One last tidbit, for those that aren't in the know.

If you absolutly need to listen to Choclate at work... you can get a repeater that allows you to get a signal indoors. You place the repeater where there is a signal (the guy at work who actually has a window) then it transmits it to your non-windowed cube.

I did a quick google, and they really aren't that expensive. [I use a similar product at home for my cellular phone service]

Ritchie said...

I basically have never even had a desire for Sirius radio with other internet alternatives. I enjoy the Rowdy Racing podcast everyday.

Even is Sirius offered a for fee product, I can't imagine that it would be better than what I already enjoy through daily podcasts.

GinaV24 said...

If other media start providing NASCAR related coverage that I can access via internet, you can bet your sweet bippy that I will jump on it. Maybe, just maybe, if some of the content is NOT controlled by NASCAR, ISC or SMI, we, the fans, might even get content that is NOT as biased as the coverage is now. Sometimes the shows that are currently aired on Sirius through the season (not races) make me feel as if they are so interested in toeing the company line that they aren't worthwhile. I'll admit to having changed the station if I feel the fans are being bashed.

For the record, I have a Sirius receiver that I use in the car and I bought a "boombox" style version to have in the house so I could bring it inside to listen. However, you still have to be able to put the antenna OUTSIDE to pickup the satellite feed and that means you need to have a window that faces the proper direction to pick up the satellite.

I can't bring the rig to my office BECAUSE like many others, I don't have access to an outside window with the right aspect for the antenna -- streaming through my computer or phone would solve that issue.

I have no problem with paying for the content I listen to. I bought my Sirius radio and pay for the subscription mostly so I could listen to NASCAR. Having the addition of being able to listen via internet as an alternative would be great.

GinaV24 said...

JD, would you mind reminding me again of what podcast you are regularly featured on? I recently updated some info for my ipod and wanted to add it to my download list.

skippypgd said...

Internet radio will be the demise of satellite radio as we currently know. Not sure when, but I think very soon. WiFi capabilities already being put in cars (Ford is releasing or has released) - it will be a connection point for mobile devices to bring the internet to the automobile, and basically make the car a hotspot.

I cancelled my XM subscription in January 09, after they cancelled the only 'Total Motorsports' (not just NASCAR) show on XM - it was present for over 4 years as 'Wide Open' and finished as 'Power Shift' and hosted by Joe Castello along with sidekick Thommy Noodlez. Joe now has his own internet location called WFO Radio (http://wforadio.com), and broadcasts live 4 evenings a week in the off season and on demand podcasts. He covers all motorsports - NASCAR, NHRA, F1, IndyCar, sportcars. The live broad cast, archives and site are completely mobile friendly. You can stream live from an iPhone, Blackberry, Windows Phone - just about anything that has internet access - plus download any show instantly and put on iPod. I heard iTunes subscription is coming soon. It's worth the checking out, and saving anywhere from $12-$30 on multiple satellite receivers that are not as mobile as a pc, netbook, or mobile phone.

It's getting big, and Sirius will not brave the storm - it's just how long can they keep the ship from sinking. I can get nearly everything (outside of a few syndicated big wig shows) right off the internet (such as my iPhone with Slacker Radio or Pandora and the vast other options out there). I just hook up my adapter in the car and play thru my radio. I'm already paying big bucks for the data plan on my phone, I don't need to be redundant and pay for XM for any reason.

Dot said...

@ JD, I need a tutorial on the Sirius radio receivers. I have the kind that's like an MP3/iPOD. Unless I get some kind of dock thingy, I can only listen via ear buds. ( I haven't opened the package as I may be selling it.)

I'm guessing since this is a portable model, it would work at an office, gym or anywhere else. True? If so, why wouldn't Sirius radio buyers just get this kind of model to listen anywhere? Sorry I drifted off topic.

I get what you are saying about ch 128 being available on the internet. I would much rather listen to it thru my computer speakers and not pay for other channels.

BTW, i started this when there were 2 comments. If my answers are above my post, sorry.

Unknown said...

Quityerbitchin - we here in Hawaii can't get Sirius regardless - no satellite in this part of the world. Don't we wish we had a dead horse to beat! lol


Hotaru1787 said...

It's not really an issue for me (no money anyway, and I don't drive).

BTW, on the iTunes Radio section, there's a station called At The Track Radio... don't even bother with it, it SUCKS! It just repeats the same programming over and over.
(It's CBS Radio, I think that's the reason).

dave@diamondscents.com said...

It would be nice to get it on the iPhone app. I'm sure that it would add to the listeners they could use to sell ad time. The adds are the worst! followed shortly by the mindless people who call in. I listen for two reasons only. The races and Dave Moody. He's awesome. How he puts up with some of his callers makes him a saint in my book.

Jason said...

I canceled my satellite radio sub after the merger because the new product sucks. They got rid of many of my favorite shows and channels. As it turns out, it was the best thing that happened to me because it forced me to turn to the internet. I use pandora for music and get my racing fill from WFORADIO.com. The host was on XM when I first subscribed, now I can listen for FREE. I can listen from my iPhone when I'm out or from my pc at home. I even use my XM car adaptor to listen from my phone thru the car stereo. If I miss a live show I can go back and listen. Its like having Tivo for the radio. I even email the shows to my friends. The internet is WAY better and the price is right.

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