SIRIUS XM Goes After Latino Market (SIRI)

October 17, 2011 by Jon C. Ogg

Sirius XM Radio (NASDAQ: SIRI) issued a long press release on Monday morning signaling more content and channel expansions for commercial-free music, sports news and comedy. The much more important news is that this expansion includes the debut of SiriusXM Latino.  By further expanding to the Spanish-speaking media segment, Sirius XM should (hopefully) be able to add a couple or more million new subscribers through time which might have otherwise been locked out of the market.

The company noted that the new Latin channels will come with commercial-free music and also will be from leading providers of Spanish-language sports, news, talk and entertainment.

Subscribers can access these new channels through SiriusXM Internet Radio and through the SiriusXM Internet Radio App for smartphones and mobile devices. The company also claims that its new 2.0 technology can deliver about 25% more bandwidth capacity.  The new channels are also available by satellite through the new SiriusXM Edge, the first satellite radio able to receive the expanded programming lineup.

The reason for this expansion is simple.  Spanish-speaking television, radio, and content is growing at a faster rate than any demographic in America.  The SiriusXM Latino channel lineup will now feature exclusive commercial-free music channels covering a wide variety of music genres, including:

  • Caliente, channel 150: biggest hits of tropical, salsa, merengue and Reggaeton
  • Viva, channel 500: Latin stars in contemporary pop, alternative and ballads
  • La Mezcla, channel 503: top hits in Spanish and English,
  • Flow Nacion, channel 506: Latin hip-hop and Reggaeton
  • Aguila, channel 510: The sound of Norteno bands, Ranchera, Duranguense and the sounds of traditional Mexican music
  • Caricia, channel 523: classics from unforgettable artists in Spanish and English
  • Luna, channel 530: Latin percussion and Afro-Cuban rhythms blended with Jazz
  • La Kueva, channel 540: Latin rock classics and today’s upcoming artists
  • RadioFormula Mexico, channel 560, 24/7 news and talk from the leading radio broadcaster from Mexico. 
  • It joins on the SiriusXM lineup CNN’s 24-hour Spanish-language news network, CNN en Espanol on channel 148. 
  • Playboy Radio en Espanol, channel 569
  • Iconic talk show host Cristina Saralegui’s Cristina Radio will feature lifestyle, health and family programming for Latinas, produced by National Latino Broadcasting and launching in the coming months.

More Latino coverage will be Spanish-language sports coverage:

  • play-by-play from NFL teams. Play-by-play will be available on multiple Deportes en Vivo channels, XM channels 550-556, which will also carry sports play-by-play from major college programs such as Army, University of Texas, Oregon State University and University of Nevada, among others, as well as an expanded lineup of MLB games. Deportes en Vivo channels supplement existing Spanish-language sports programming on SiriusXM that includes ESPN Deportes Radio, channel 149, which features sports talk and soccer matches from Spain’s La Liga—including FC Barcelona and Real Madrid—the Mexican Primera Division, CONCACAF, Major League Soccer and more.  MLB en Espanol, XM channel 175, will continue to feature Spanish-language broadcasts of MLB games throughout the season. Not all sports programming is available online.

The expanded (English) programming offering from SiriusXM includes: 

  • Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Radio
  • RockBar
  • Classic College Radio
  • Red White & Booze
  • Krishna Das Yoga Radio
  • Carlin’s Corner (in honor of George Carlin)
  • UCB Radio (voice to the underground sketch, improv and stand-up comedy)
  • Dirty Dog (rude and raucous comedy)
  • ESPN SportsCenter

One thing that is interesting is that Sirius XM disclosed in its annual report earlier this year that its letter of intent with ACIR DARS Mexico to pursue a license to offer satellite radio in Mexico was terminated in May 2010.

Edge is on sale now at http://www.shop.siriusxm.com and  available at 2,500 retail locations nationwide by this holiday shopping season. More programming and expanded listener capabilities will be announced in the coming months as Sirius XM builds upon the new 2.0 technology.  This is also being offered on a $199 annual subscription rate as a savings plan.

Sirius XM Radio shares are up only 1% at $1.83 on the day. 

JON C. OGG