Sirius XM Floats ‘2.0’ Service

Satcaster plans to add bandwidth and channels, and enhance data offerings
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Sirius XM plans to increase its capacity, offer new channels and release “2.0” receivers to stores next fall.

That’s according to President/CEO Mel Karmazin, who told analysts about these changes as the satcaster reported its quarterly earnings. The company also reported net subscriber additions of 335,000 for a total of 19.8 million subscribers.

Through new technology, yet to be unveiled, Sirius XM expects to expand its capacity by 25 percent as well as add more music and data services, according to a transcript of the call from SeekingAlpha.

Sirius and XM have had the ability to reduce or expand the bandwidth devoted to each channel in order to add more or cut others, as we’ve reported.

Consumers who have the new 2.0 radios will receive the new features, but the change won’t obsolete tuners in the market, according to Karmazin. “Our next generation of satellite radios are expected to offer more choices for the consumer and contain functionality that does not exist today.”

Operations and Sales President Jim Meyer said the company hopes the launch will help boost aftermarket sales, and it expects automaker OEMs to include the radios in their vehicles when they can be incorporated into the car production schedules, according to the transcript.

The company reported net income in the third quarter was $67.6 million, up from a loss of $151.5 million for the same time a year earlier. Sirius XM reported adjusted revenue of $722.5 million in Q3, up 15% from the third quarter 2009 adjusted revenue of $629.6 million.

The company reported adjusted EBITDA of $169.7 million in the quarter 2010, an increase of 60% over the third quarter 2009 adjusted EBITDA of $106.1 million.

The subscriber acquisition cost fell 14% to $59, from $69 in Q3 of last year.

The company had no update on the status of Howard Stern’s contract, which is up at the end of the year.

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