ON THE AIR: XM Radio is now available in Canada. This Delphi Roady is one of many satellite radios now available to carry XM programming.
TORONTO, Ont. – XM Radio recently launched its Canadian satellite radio service, featuring more than 80 channels of commercial-free music, talk and sports programming.
The service includes the majority of the U.S. stations offered by XM, with the exception of some U.S.-based traffic and weather channels.
The Canadian lineup also includes the addition of eight Canadian stations, including four in French.
“Canadians have been waiting for XM and now we’re going to give them what they want – superior choice, sound and signal quality,” said Stephen Tapp, president and COO of XM Canada. “With more than five million subscribers and growing, XM is the undisputed leader in satellite radio. We will offer many channels from XM Satellite Radio’s award-winning U.S. programming lineup while adding our new original Canadian programming.”
Hockey fans will be pleased to know XM recently signed a 10-year, $100 million deal to broadcast up to 1,000 NHL games per season. Beginning in 2007/2008, XM will be the exclusive satellite radio carrier of NHL hockey games.
As far as music goes, there are dozens of commercial-free stations covering every genre from country to jazz. (The company has more than two million titles on its playlist).
“There’s virtually every type of music for everybody – you name it, we’ve got it,” said Brad Rome director of national OEM sales and distribution with XM Radio.
Truckers will also be able to listen to the Open Road truckers’ channel on their XM radios as well as an assortment of other specialty stations.
News networks including Fox News, CNN, CNBC, BBC and Canada’s own Canada 360 will keep truckers abreast of what’s going on in the world no matter where they’re travelling.
And XM’s three comedy stations will go a long way towards relieving stress while stuck in traffic or waiting at border crossings.
XM is the first satellite radio provider to roll its service out into Canada.
Truckers have been receiving satellite radio for years now, but in order to sign up they had to first obtain a U.S. mailing address.
Rome told Truck News Canadian subscribers can convert their subscription to the Canadian service without paying an activation fee.
Doing so will ensure their money stays in Canada, where a portion of it is used to promote Canadian music and develop domestic talent.
XM’s satellite radio service relies on two satellites (named Rock and Roll) as well as a backup. While all of North America is covered by the satellites, ground-based ‘repeaters’ are set up in key locations to ensure concrete canyons don’t block out the signals. XM officials say weather never causes service interruptions, pointing out the satellite radio signal is nine times more powerful than satellite TV signals.
While XM Radio hasn’t yet finalized any deals with truck OEMs, easy-to-install retrofit stereos are available from electronics stores including: Future Shop; A&B Sound; Canadian Tire; London Drugs; Dumoulin/Audiotronic; Sears Canada; The Source by Circuit City; Best Buy and other retailers.
The stereos themselves are available in a wide range of sizes and are manufactured by companies including Delphi, Pioneer and Tao.
They can be purchased for as little as $99.
Customers can then subscribe to the service for $12.99/month to receive the programming.
No contract is required but there’s a $19.99 activation fee (activating the service online at www.xmradio.ca will save subscribers 25 per cent off the activation fee).