Dear @SiriusCanada & @XMCanada: Getting Rid of theScore Radio = #Fail

Sirius Canada and XM Canada Complete Merger

Tuesday June 21, 2011

Toronto, Ontario, June 21, 2011 – Canadian Satellite Radio Holdings Inc. (CSR, TSX:XSR), the parent company of XM Canada, and Sirius Canada Inc., is pleased to announce that the organizations have completed the merger announced in November 2010 (the “Merger”). Operating as SiriusXM Canada, the newly merged entity will have more than 1.8 million subscribers and form one of the country’s leading media companies. The combined company’s stock will continue to be traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol “XSR”.

“The newly merged entity will have more than 1.8 million subscribers” is a false statement. As of last month, my parents and I cancelled our subscriptions. Plus, there’s a good chance that many of the listeners and fans of theScore Radio cancelled as well. Once September 1st rolls around, you might have 1 million subscribers.

“Today’s news brings us to an exciting conclusion of a process we started late last year,” commented Mark Redmond, President and CEO of SiriusXM Canada. “With this combination we have created a powerful Canadian media company with more than 1.8 million subscribers that is among the largest subscription entertainment companies in Canada. Today, SiriusXM Canada is stronger financially and well positioned to succeed in the highly competitive audio entertainment industry. Our increased size will bring a renewed focus to our strategy to lead the in-car entertainment experience as well as mobile and online listening.”

Two points here. First, your statistic of 1.8 million subscribers is incorrect again – I cancelled my subscription along with many other people I know. And two, removing theScore Radio Channel will not lead to a better in-car entertainment experience. It only makes it worse. What station are Canadian sport fans going to tune into now to get their sports fix? theScore Radio aired the #1 sports podcast in the nation, Tim and Sid: Uncut on it’s schedule, and since you dropped it, you can no longer say that you have all the best content available. 

“While both companies have enjoyed much success since the launch of the category in 2005, the growth opportunities for SiriusXM Canada are tremendous,” noted John Bitove, Chairman of SiriusXM Canada. “Our partnerships with all of the major automotive manufacturers will be a key catalyst to our growth.”

You speak some truth here. Sirius did in fact enjoy success since their launch, but theScore Radio played a key part when it came to sports broadcasting.

As a combined organization, SiriusXM Canada will have a total subscriber base of over 1.8 million. On a trailing 12-month basis (ending August 31st, 2010), the combined company will have pro forma revenues of approximately $200 million, and pro forma adjusted EBITDA of approximately $3.7 million. Not only is the merger expected to yield synergies of approximately $20 million within 18 months, the company will benefit from accelerated growth and a laser-focus on the subscriber experience.

Again, that silly 1.8 million subscribers stat. If that decreases, which it has, all your other numbers decrease as well.

The merged company will continue to have a strong presence at more than 3,000 retail locations, an expanding online/mobile offering, and its radios will be factory installed in more than 800,000 vehicles sold in Canada this year.

I’m glad to hear that you’ll be intstalled in more than 800,000 vehicles sold in Canada this year. The sad part of that is…let’s hypothetically say that 300,000 of those are purchased by sport fans and listeners of theScore Radio. You’re not going to make very many people happy when they hop in their cars on September 1st, and realize they can’t access channel 158.

Canadian consumers will benefit from this merger in several ways over the coming months. To start, SiriusXM Canada will be launching a new channel dedicated to Aboriginal content by September of this year. “We’re excited about the launch of this new channel which further demonstrates our commitment to the diverse cultural makeup of Canadian content,” said Redmond.

What about the sports fan?

“We also look forward to the introduction of an interoperable receiver later this year, allowing customers to subscribe to either or both of the two services. SiriusXM Canada has the most exciting audio entertainment content available anywhere. We’ll continue to listen to what our subscribers want from us, we’ll deliver the best music and entertainment listening experience anywhere,” said Redmond.

Wrong, you don’t have the most exciting audio entertainment content available anywhere and no, you haven’t listened to what your subscribers want in their satellite radio. I spoke with many listeners of theScore Radio who contacted your customer service line and they were told to tune into ESPN instead. Is that how you treat paying customers? By dismissing them?

The merger will have no immediate effect on the current service coverage or existing radios, and in the near term, customers can expect to interact with each company as they always have.

This is what I like to call “straight foss” or “smells like shkeef”. This merger does affect how I listen to my radio and yes it does affect how I interact with the company.

“We will work quickly to integrate the two companies, creating a best-in-class management team and employee base,” said Redmond. “The opportunity in front of us is huge; for our shareholders, our employees, our partners, and most of all, our customers.”

SiriusXM Canada is the country’s leading audio entertainment company and broadcasts more than 120 satellite radio channels featuring premier sports, news, talk, entertainment and commercial-free music. SiriusXM Canada offers an array of content from the most recognized news and entertainment brands as well as from professional sports leagues including the NHL, NFL, MLB and CFL.

theScore Radio was one of the most recognized sports stations in Canada. You don’t have it anymore.

SiriusXM programming is available on a variety of devices including pre-installed and after-market radios in cars, trucks and boats, smartphones and mobile devices, and consumer electronics products for homes and offices. Sirius XM programming is also available online at http://www.sirius.ca and http://www.xmradio.ca and on Apple, BlackBerry and Android-powered mobile devices.

It’s not available anymore in two households that I know of for sure. Mine and the parents vehicle in Newfoundland. They cancelled this past weekend out of disgust.

I’m proud to be Canadian. We have the Tragically Hip, Beavertails, and theScore Radio – this is as Canadian as it gets. Bring back my radio please!


If you want to let them know how you feel free to send them an email or phone call:
In Canada: customercare@siriuscanada.ca 1-888-539-7474
In the U.S.: listenercare@siriusxm.com 1-866-635-2349

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