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XM Radio

XM Satellite Radio NASDAQ: XMSR is a satellite radio (DARS) service in the United States based in Washington, DC and controlled by News Corporation's DirecTV, General Motors, American Honda, Hughes Electronics, and several private investment groups. more...

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XM provides pay-for-service radio, analogous to premium cable television. Their service includes 67 different music channels, 39 news, sports, talk and entertainment channels, 21 regional traffic and weather channels and 23 play-by-play sports channels. XM channels are identified by Arbitron with the label “XM” (e.g. “XM175”, “XM4”, “XM32”).

XM was founded in 1992 as American Mobile Radio Corporation.


XM-capable receivers cost US$30 – US$300. If opting for the month-to-month plan, service fees are US$12.95 for the first receiver, and US$6.99 each for up to four additional receivers on the same account. Subscribers may opt to purchase one-, two-, three-, four-, or five-year packages, in which the average monthly cost would be under US$10.00 per month. XM Satellite Radio produces the majority of its channels, as well as a few others that are not available via satellite, available on the Internet. The Internet-only subscription fee is US$7.99 per month; those with an active satellite subscription do not need to pay an additional charge.

XM also provides data services such as weather information for pilots and weather spotters through it's XM WX Satellite Weather datacasting service, in addition to real-time weather and traffic updates aired every two minutes for major metropolitan areas on some of XM's audio channels.

DirecTV now gives listeners as part of its service the music channels of XM, but not the news or traffic channels.


  • In October 1997 the company obtained one of only two satellite digital audio radio service licenses offered by the Federal Communications Commission.
  • In June 1999, Clear Channel Communications, DirecTV, General Motors, and a private investment group invested $250 million in XM Radio convertible debt. Both Clear Channel and DIRECTV agreed to develop services for XM.
  • In July 2000, American Honda joined several private investors in a $235 million preferred stock investment in the company.
  • In 2001, XM service was launched, first in San Diego and Dallas/Fort Worth and then nationwide.
  • In December 2002, revenues were lower than expected, and the company obtained $200 million in new funds and a $250 million payment deferral from General Motors.
  • In July 2003 the company had nearly 700,000 subscribers.
  • On March 1, 2004, XM Radio launched Instant Traffic and Weather Channels for major metropolitan markets in the United States.
  • On August 11, 2004, XM's subscriber base broke the 2.5 million mark. The company partnered with both luxury automakers: (Acura and Audi) as well as others: (General Motors, Honda, Isuzu, Nissan, Toyota, Volkswagen, and SAAB) to offer in-dash XM receivers on an OEM basis. The Acura TL was the first luxury automobile to offer XM radio as "standard" in every vehicle.
  • On October 4, 2004, "shock" jocks Opie and Anthony began broadcasting on a premium ($2.99/month extra) XM Satellite Radio.
  • On October 4, 2004, former National Public Radio host Bob Edwards broadcast the first Bob Edwards Show on XM Public Radio, channel 133.
  • On October 26, 2004, XM presents its first XM2go™ portable XM receiver: The Delphi MyFi™.
  • On December 30, 2004, XM announced that it had 3.1 million subscribers.
  • As of the 2005 season, XM had exclusive satellite radio broadcast rights to all Major League Baseball games.
  • On January 5, 2005, XM announces the introduction of two more XM2go™ models: Pioneer's AirWare™ and the Tao™ from Giant International.
  • On February 28, 2005, XM's third satellite, Rhythm, was launched successfully.
  • On April 1, 2005, XM announced that it had added 540,000 subscribers in Q1 2005, pushing their total subscriber base to 3.77 million.
  • On April 11, 2005, XM announced that a deal had been reached to be the official satellite radio network of Air America Radio.
  • On May 16, 2005, XM announced that subscribership topped the 4 million mark. This indicates exponential growth for the company. In 5 weeks time, they have added 230,000 subscribers — almost 50% the subscribers added in the previous quarter.
  • On May 28, 2005, the Wall Street Journal reported that XM had awarded the contract for the XM 5 spacecraft to Space Systems/Loral (see also ).
  • On July 1, 2005, XM announced that it had added more than 640,000 subscribers in Q2 2005, pushing their total subscriber base to over 4.4 million.
  • On August 1, 2005, XM announced the addition of popular radio hosts Ron and Fez. They join Opie and Anthony on High Voltage XM 202 on September 12th, 2005.
  • On September 13, 2005, XM announced a multi-year deal to carry National Hockey League broadcasts beginning with the 2005-06 season, initially sharing the coverage with Sirius but gaining satellite-radio exclusivity from 2007 onward.
  • On September 27, 2005, XM announced that it surpassed the 5 million subscriber mark.
  • On September 27, 2005, XM announced that starting on November 15th, 2005, DirecTV will carry 72 channels as part of their audio programming. This includes music channels, "Home Plate" (XM 175), and "High Voltage" (XM 202)
  • On October 3, 2005, XM announced that it had added more than 617,000 subscribers in Q3 2005, pushing their total subscriber base to over 5.03 million.
  • On October 3, 2005, XM Radio launched channel "Take 5" (XM 155). This channel is geared toward Women's Programming and features replays of "The Ellen DeGeneres Show", "The Tyra Banks Show", syndicated and original programming, as well as programming from Food Network and HGTV. Additionally, XM Radio drops two of its Talk and Entertainment channels: MTV and VH1.
  • On October 18, 2005, XM announced that it will launch "Fox News Talk" Radio in January 2006.
  • On November 15, 2005, DirecTV began carrying 72 channels of XM programming. These include music channels, but not news or sports channels.
  • On November 17, 2005, XM launched their new Fall lineup of channels. "unSigned", which now plays new and recently discovered Canadian artists. "Air Musique", French punk, hip-hop, metal, electronic and alternative rock music. "Sur La Route", a blend of modern and classic pop, folk, rock n' roll, "chanson" and soul featuring the stars of yesterday, today and tomorrow. "Laugh Attack", Canadian comedic talent. "Canada 360", and "Quoi de Neuf", a 24/7 news and information channel with the latest news, weather, sports, business, entertainment and issues making headlines in Canada and around the world. "Franc Parler", the place for Canadian news, talk, and information. "Home Ice", part of XM's sports lineup, featuring NHL games. "Fox News Talk", news, analysis and the pulse of the nation from Bill O'Reilly, Tony Snow, John Gibson, Alan Colmes and more. "Lex and Terry", a popular nationally syndicated morning radio program, delivers a unique blend of lifestyle advice, humor and on-air community, especially for men, beginning November 28, 2005, on Extreme XM.
  • On November 29, 2005, XM launched its service in Canada.
  • On January 4, 2006, XM announced that it has passed the 6 million subscriber mark.


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See also...
Complete Systems, XM Radio, Satellite Radio
Other Products & Kits, XM Radio, Satellite Radio
Receivers Only, XM Radio, Satellite Radio

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