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Serious Push By Sirius

Techstination feature for Thursday, October 3, 2002

Sirius prepares for a serious push. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. Sirius Satellite Radio ... which launched nationwide on July first, months after rival XM... ..has some catching up to do. XM, with help from General Motors... .expects to have 350 thousand subscribers by the end of the year. Sirius CEO Joe Clayton hopes to have about 75 thousand. The introduction of a new Panasonic receiver... should help... says Clayton... but to reach the mass consumer market will take some patience...

"Anytime you're dealing with invention it's going to take some time. Our product... was maybe a little too optimistic in our scheduling."

But with automotive partners that include Daimler Chrysler, Audi, BMW, Ford and Nissan... Clayton believes the future for the technology is bright. There are plenty of skeptics though who question whether consumers will be willing to pay 12.95 a month for a satellite radio service... .

"They're the same doubting Thomases that said satellite television wouldn't be for real and no one would pay for something they could get for free. I'd say the cable industry and satellite television have proven that to be false. And it's all about variety, selection, choice, a better sound experience, nationwide coverage."

At Panasonic, national car audio marketing manager Rob Lopez isn't guessing how many people will buy... but...

"With the launch of the Panasonic Sirius Satellite receiver, obviously our intention is to own a great deal of market share of that subscription base."

Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.