News Brief

Satcasters Add Subscribers & Advertisers

XM Satellite Radio and Sirius Satellite Radio continue to add subscribers and advertising revenues, although both companies remain far from break even. “We clearly need more fuel in the tank to continue,” XM CEO Hugh Panero told analysts on the company’s third quarter conference call. XM is searching for $200 to $250 million in new financing to take it to the day that it crosses over into profitability – likely in 2004. XM’s subscriber base did grow 47% in the third quarter, adding 64,836 subscribers from July 1 to September 30, bringing its total subscribers to 201,554. XM is sticking with its 350,000 year-end target. Subscription revenues totaled $4.9M for the quarter, while ad sales added $676,000 to the bottom line. XM also says 6,000 customers have signed-up for its premium pay channel, Playboy Radio. Meanwhile, competing Sirius had 16,136 subscribers at the end of October, up from the 11,821 it had on July 1. During the third quarter, Sirius’ subscription fees added $259,000 to the bottom line but that number was offset by its mail-in rebate program that turned back more money than was brought in. On the upside, Sirius’ advertising revenues for the quarter totaled $62,000.