XM has updated the channel lineup for its XM Radio Online internet radio service and the channels that play through the DirecTV offering.
Starting today, XM Radio Online has added on an expansive offering including Radio Disney, BBC World Service, CNN, C-Span Radio, FOX News Talk, ESPN Radio, NHL Home Ice, PGA TOUR Network, and XM Sports Nation.
At the same time, gone from the XM Radio Online channel lineup are The Torch, Special X, Fuego, Luna, Music Lab, The Flow and On the Rocks. DirecTV will also no longer air The Torch, Special X, Fuego and Luna. These channels haven't been on the satellites for years.
It seems as if XM is attempting to make it's online offering more in-line with its satellite-based offering (though The Agenda, Ngoma and World Zone still survive on XMRO). This could be an attempt to cut costs, both in programming as well as in costs associated to royalty fees to SoundExchange. Or it might be in preparation for a new device with internet radio capabilities, though that's purely dreams and speculation.
Whatever the reasons, the new channels to XM Radio Online are definitely a huge improvement.
This makes me very happy now that I can listen to Home Ice at work!
Does anybody know if the XM/Sirius merger will get the NHL on Sirius as well?
Not quite...or at least, it hasn't been defined just yet. If NHL PBP is ever offered to Sirius subscribers, you will need to buy a dual receiver...one capable of receiving both XM and Sirius. Those will be available around one year after the merger is finalized (according to Karmazin). But you'll also be paying alot more. I think it's funny how XM and Sirius both say this gives our subscribers better options and more cost-efficient plans. When actually, this merger will only really benefit XM/Sirius and not the consumer.
The current pricing structure post merger is...
1. Same channels/same price...this is iffy since there are rumors that the new company will cut redundant channels (why have two different versions of decades channels, etc).
2. Ala carte 1 - Sirius subscribers will be able to pick 50 Sirius channels for $6.99/mo. If you want Howard, it's an additional $6/mo. If you want NFL, NBA, Nascar...it's an additional $5/mo. $18/mo for less channels? No thank you. Same goes for XM subscribers, except O&A will cost $3/mo, Oprah $3/mo, MLB/NHL/College will cost $6/mo.
3. Ala carte 2 - Sirius subscribers can pick 100 of Sirius' entire lineup for $14.99/mo (NFL, NBA, Nascar count as 5 dedicated channels for each sport). You can also select from 11 XM "Best-of" channels...however, it's not clear whether NHL PBP or MLB PBP would be part of those 11. Same goes for XM subscribers...select 100 channels from XM's lineup and a choice of 11 "Best of" Sirius channels. Either way you slice it...less channels...more money...and expect to plop down money for a new dual receiver.
So, long story short...it doesn't appear the sports play by play channels will be interchangeable. And...this merger is going to totally suck.