Sirius for President

Before Michelle Obama gave her "I love my country" speech last night during the Democratic National Convention, she was a guest on Oprah Winfrey's XM channel.

Appearing on the channel's The Gayle King Show, the wife of the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee spoke about her husband, her daughters, and her role in the selection of her husband's running mate.

The interview took place just hours before she took the stage, and XM parent Sirius XM Radio (Nasdaq: SIRI  ) was all over the opportunity.

Shortly after the interview ended, Sirius XM issued a press release with choice quotes like, "Barack has not disappointed me once in the 20 years or more that I've known him. Not once." It also let its media rivals know that the audio would be available on request.

In short, satellite radio is going to milk this election for all it can. A press release last week detailed Sirius' around-the-clock programming from the convention floor in Denver. One Sirius channel is covering the convention in Spanish.

Rest easy, Republicans. Sirius XM is truly bipartisan here. It will pack things up and roll over to cover the Republican National Convention in Minneapolis-Saint Paul next month.

This is the kind of coverage that will make satellite radio a force. Yes, terrestrial radio has limited content that panders to the left and the right, but it will never offer the intense coverage that a premium radio provider with hundreds of channels at its disposal can achieve.

Does anyone remember DirecTV (NYSE: DTV  ) before it landed NFL Sunday Ticket? This is the election that could put Sirius XM on the map.

Yes, of course it's on the map already. The two companies combined to watch over 18.6 million subscribers. That's not chump change. That is more accounts than seemingly successful monthly subscription services like Netflix (Nasdaq: NFLX  ) , TiVo (Nasdaq: TIVO  ) , and even Research In Motion's (Nasdaq: RIMM  ) BlackBerry.

However, the market is still skeptical on satellite radio's retention power, since its first wave of subscribers is just now starting to move to second cars with factory-installed satellite radio receivers.

Magnetic programming is the key to lowering churn and locking in premium radio subscribers. If you really think this election is just about Obama and McCain, you're missing the Sirius opportunity. Thankfully, satellite radio isn't missing it.

Here are some other Sirius XM Radio programming notes:

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Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz is such a big satellite radio fan that he subscribes to both XM and Sirius. He does not own shares in any of the companies in this story, save for Netflix. He is a member of the Rule Breakers analytical team, seeking out the next great growth stock early in its defiance. The Fool has a disclosure policy.


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Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On August 26, 2008, at 7:13 PM, norris3 wrote:

    Speaking of the NFL, where's the marketing for this part of SiriusXM's programming? The sports coverage in general, and NFL coverage specifically, is something SATRAD's competitors can't offer. Yet, year after year, there is no ad campaign for the NFL from Sirius. This is the most popular sport in the country and only SiriusXM carries every game!!! DirectTV's Sunday Ticket is bantied about every year, from draft day until the middle of the season, in every medium available for advertising; it's no wonder the company is so well known now. Sirius put more money into advertising Howard Stern's arrival during the short runup to said arrival than they have, altogether, in all the years they have had the NFL. The NFL is a much more enduring, and definitely more popular, product than Howard Stern. The NFL coverage should be one SATRADs biggest ad campaigns. What gives?

  • Report this Comment On August 26, 2008, at 10:23 PM, Matt8265 wrote:

    This and 1.31 will buy you a large fry or a share of a billion dollar losing proposition.

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