Siriusly Considering Dumping Satellite Radio

In a few months, my two-year subscription to Sirius Satellite Radio will expire. At this point, I’m not sure if I will renew it. I am waiting to see if the proposed Sirius-XM merger gets approved. If it does, there will be new receivers and pricing plans, so why not wait to see how it shakes out? Being one of four people in the USA who still follows hockey, I’m disappointed that the NHL moved to XM. I’m also getting bored with Howard Stern and his crew dropping the “F-Bomb” and the “C-Word” 86 times each hour.

The music programming is the main reason I am considering dropping the service. The impetus for satellite radio was for the long-distance automobile traveler. The selling point was that you could drive cross-country and never lose your favorite station. In theory, this should have meant that the longer time-spent-listening span that satellite had over local stations translated into deeper playlists and slower turnover and rotation of songs. Oh, contrare! I haven’t actually tracked this information, but on a recent road trip (6 hours each way), I detected the familiar patterns of fast rotation on a few of my favorite channels. Especially disappointing are the oldies and classic rock channels. I can only take so many listens of “Good Vibrations” at this stage of my life. And when “Freebird” starts, I have a reaction not unlike Pavlov’s dog: My hand immediately lurches for the pre-set buttons, and I am on another station before the second note of the opening keyboard intro plays. And the DJs are awful for the most part. They serve no purpose other than to interrupt a commercial-free music set with useless music trivia and insipid ramblings about how the music has affected their lives. I don’t need someone to tell me the artist and title of a song. I can see it on the screen!

I thought satellite would be something fresh and invigorating. There are some newer interesting channels on Sirius such as Spectrum (Adult Alternative) and Left of Center (indie rock), but the old saying, “Shit in a different wrapper is still shit”, comes to mind.

Tuesday, October 2: Baseball in the World of Media 2.0


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