Sirius-XM merger to produce a-la-carte radio menu

NEW YORK — In a bid to show U.S. market regulators that a pending merger would save customers money, Sirius and XM unveiled several new packages the companies say provides satellite radio listeners more choice in programming.

The two former rivals, which announced a $13 billion merger agreement in February, said the new subscription packages would cost up to 46 percent less than current plans if their merger is approved.

Under one package, reports Reuters, customers can pick 50 channels on either XM’s or Sirius’ systems for $6.99 a month. Additional channels can be added for only 25 cents each.

Another option would allow subscribers choose 100 channels from both systems for $16.99 a month.

Currently, subscribers pay about $13 a month for more than 100 stations on network.

The deal, would combine the only two providers of satellite radio service in the U.S., is currently being reviewed by the Federal Communications Commission.

It’s still unclear how a merger would affect XM Canada and Sirius Canada, which are not part of the merger agreement. Both are independently run companies with Canadian partners that rely on the U.S. parents for much of their programming.

Sirius Canada is a partnership between Standard Broadcasting, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and Sirius in the U.S. XM Radio Canada is the operating name of public company Canadian Satellite Radio Holdings Inc.

There are many Canadian truckers, however, have the U.S. programming, which they pay for through a credit card.

— with files from Reuters

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