NEW YORK -- XM Satellite Radio Holdings Inc. is raising the
ante in its programming battle with rival Sirius Satellite Radio
Inc., signing an 11-year programming deal with Major League
Baseball, a person familiar with the matter said late Tuesday.
The deal would put baseball games for every major league team on
XM's service beginning next year, according to the source, who
spoke on condition of anonymity. The story was first reported in
The Sports Business Daily, a newspaper published by Street &
Smith's Sports Group.
Officials from both Major League Baseball and XM declined to
comment, but MLB notified reporters late Tuesday that baseball
commissioner Bud Selig would have a news conference Wednesday
morning with Hugh Panero, the CEO of XM Satellite Radio.
The deal would be worth $470 million in cash over eight years,
with Major League Baseball having the option to extend the
arrangement by up to three additional years at $60 million per
year. That would make the deal potentially worth up to $650
The back-to-back deals highlight the mounting competition
between XM and Sirius, both of which are spending heavily on
programming in an effort to attract new subscribers.
Washington-based XM is currently leading the way with 2.5
million subscribers to its pay service, while Sirius announced
Tuesday that its subscription list has exceeded 700,000. Sirius,
based in New York, said it is on track to reach 1 million
subscribers by the end of the year.