72 channels made available.
The two leading satellite radio and TV providers, XM Satellite Radio and DirecTV announced Thursday (September 29) a distribution deal to offer 72 of XM's 150 channels to 14.6 million DirecTV subscribers. Beginning Nov. 15, a selection of XM's music, children's and talk programming will be available as part of DirectTV's current audio programming lineup at no additional cost. The lineup will include Home Plate, XM's Major League Baseball talk radio channel and High Voltage, its talk radio channel anchored by Opie and Anthony.
The deal echoes a similar deal inked in May 2004 between Sirius Satellite Radio and EchoStar Communications to provide 60 of Sirius' commercial-free music channels to EchoStar's premium subscribers.
"DirecTV is making a major commitment in the world of music, and this alliance with XM will leave a lasting imprint on not only our more than 14.6 million customers nationwide, but on the pay television industry as a whole," said Dan Fawcett, executive VP of programming acquisitions for DirecTV.
DirecTV customers subscribing to DirecTV's Total Choice programming package will have access to 50 XM channels, while those subscribing to DirecTV's Total Choice Plus will have access to 65 XM channels. DirecTV Para Todos customers will also receive five additional Latin music channels.
In addition to potentially increasing the number of listeners to certain XM channels, the alliance could also lure more subscribers to XM, which this week just surpassed the 5 million subscriber milestone, widening its lead over Sirius, which has 1.8 million subscribers.
"We know from experience that when people get to sample XM, they want to become XM subscribers," said Patricia Kesling, senior VP of marketing and operations for XM.