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The Satellite Radio Strategy

Boot Camp feature for Tuesday, January 27, 2004

The satellite radio strategy. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. So far they have only attracted about one and a half million subscribers... .and they continue to lose money. But XM and Sirius... the two contenders in the satellite radio business... are mapping strategies they hope will win them many more customers. Both are looking to add data services that will display sports scores, stock prices and traffic information in your car. And they are planning to add video to their services down the road as well. But Sirius CEO Joseph Clayton, whose service lags behind XM in subscriber numbers, says programming is what will be the big draw. His company is paying 220 million dollars for the right to broadcast NFL football games. To skeptics, Clayton says...

"Probably one of the greatest marketing machines in the whole world is the National Football League. They have over 185 million fans. And 50 percent of those fans live out of market. We'll be able to provide all 32 NFL teams broadcasts through the Sirius Satellite Radio Network."

Another programming move... the hiring of Steven Van Zandt, of Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band... and the cast of the Sopranos... to oversee a new Underground Garage channel...

"Nothing like it exists in America or anywhere in the world. And suddenly, rock and roll has become an underground cult again... like it was when it started."

And with the music being ignored by radio stations in many markets... Van Zandt says it opens up an opportunity for satellite radio. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.