XM, Sirius outline new price plan

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Satellite-radio networks Sirius and XM have announced details of their post-merger pricing plan, which allows customized pricing, which the Federal Communications Commission supports for cable television. However, customers would need new radios to take full advantage of the change.

The companies announced in February their plans to merge, but the FCC and the antitrust division of the U.S. Department of Justice must approve before the merger can proceed.

The companies announced two main “a la carte” pricing options for the merged networks. One option will allow subscribers to choose 50 channels for $6.99 a month, compared to the current 100-channel subscription rate of $12.95, with additional channels available for a minimum of 25 cents a month. Under that plan, however, Sirius customers will be able to choose among only Sirius channels, and XM customers among only XM channels.

The second option will allow subscribers to choose 100 channels from either network for $14.99 a month, compared to the current $25.90 cost of subscribing to both.

To take advantage of customized pricing, however, subscribers will need new, customizable satellite radios, the companies said. Neither the new sets nor the new programming options will be available immediately upon merger, though they should be available within a year of the merger, the companies said.

Subscribers to the merged service also will be able to pick a “family-friendly” tier of channels for $1 off the monthly rate, the companies said.

Subscribers who just want to keep the channels they have can do so for $12.95 per month, while new subscribers can opt for Sirius Everything and XM Everything packages at the same rate, the companies said.

For more information, visit www.siriusmerger.com or www.xmmerger.com.