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SIRIUS XM to Target Soccer Fans

Zacks Equity Research

SIRIUS XM Radio Inc. (SIRI) plans to target football crazy fans by launching a channel from next Monday onwards which will only provide football related news, discussion, expert opinion and live commentary to its listeners.

The new service will be available on channel 94 and it will also be available to other smartphone and tablet users who have downloaded the Sirius XM Internet Radio Apps. Even the online users of SIRIUS XM can avail this service by visiting SiriusXM.com site.

SIRIUS XM FC, which will provide such value added service to its customers will cover important football tournaments like Barclays Premier League, UEFA Champions League and FA Cup, as well as matches from the Major League Soccer playoffs.

We believe that such value added services will continue to have positive impact on its subscriber growth. Since the last year, the company is constantly upgrading its service features either by launching its most popular SIRIUS XM 2.0 product suite or by expanding its channel lineups.

During the first half of 2012, the company added 1,026,638 subscribers compared with a total addition of 825,211 subscribers in the comparable period of 2011. The company has set a target of adding 1.6 million customers during fiscal 2012, of which it has already achieved nearly 64.4% by the end of the first half of 2012.

Increasing programming lineups, new product launch and improved ratings are continuously driving customer growth. However, mounting debt, higher programming cost and stiff competition from Pandora Media, Inc. (P) and other media players like Pioneer System will act as headwinds for the stock going forward.

We maintain our long-term Neutral recommendation for SIRIUS XM. Currently, the company has a Zacks #3 Rank, implying a short-term Hold rating.

Based in New York, SIRIUS XM provides satellite radio services in the U.S. and Canada.

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