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Beaming Radio From Space

Techstination feature for Tuesday, July 31, 2001

Pay For radio? Companies preparing to launch satellite radio are betting many people will. Bloomberg Bootcamp, a report on today's technology. It will begin in September, when XM Satellite radio rolls out its one hundred channels beamed from space in Dallas and San Diego. By November, it plans to go nationwide. But will consumers... .be willing to shell out 9.99 a month to subscribe? XM Chairman Gary Parsons...

"It's the same question people ask about television. In the early stages of cable, who is going to pay for something you're already receiving free. Time has proven people will pay for their passions. The lack of commercials... over thirty of the channels will be absolutely commercial free. Six Latin or Hispanic channels, an Indian channel, a Chinese language channel, there'll be world music."

And the list goes on. And the same channels will be available nationwide. No fading out while you're driving. Is that what consumers will want? We'll see. The company is planning a one hundred million dollar ad campaign to convince them. It features musicians... such as B. B. King... falling from space... . (sound) XM's backers include GM, American Honda, Clear Channel and DirecTV. Rival Sirius Radio, which has announced that its service will cost 12.99 a month... is backed by Ford and Daimler Chrysler. Bloomberg Bootcamp, I'm Fred Fishkin.