Q2 numbers show jump in subscribers, losses, revenue.
Sirius Satellite Radio Tuesday (Aug. 1) raised its year-end subscriber forecast to 6.3 million, from 6.2 million. Early in the year, the radio service forecast it would have 6 million subscribers by the end of 2006, raising it to 6.2 million in May.
The guidance, made during the company’s second quarter earnings conference call, was in stark contrast to XM Satellite Radio, which cut its year-end subscriber forecast last week to between 8.2 and 7.7 million.
In second quarter, Sirius added 600,460 subscribers for a total of 4.6 million. Despite a larger loss of $237.8 million, compared to $177.5 million a year ago, revenue tripled to more than $150 million. The company also raised its year-end revenue guidance to $615 million, from $600 million.
Sirius is confident it can bring in its subscriber forecast in part due to Howard Stern, who, unlike last year when he was still employed by CBS Radio, will now be able to mobilize for his new radio home. “This year we will have the best salesman on radio selling subscribers for us,” said Mel Karmazin, CEO of Sirius.
Although Sirius painted a positive picture, like its rival XM, Sirius is facing problems with the FCC over emission standards for some of its receivers. The National Association of Broadcasters recently called for the FCC to recall the satellite receivers not in compliance, a move Karmazin characterized as “saber rattling.”
Karmazin said Sirius is working through the issues with the FCC and ultimately will not Sirius’ subscriber guidance. “We’re confident we have enough product in the pipeline and there won’t be any shortage,” Karmazin said.