Today, Sirius Satellite Radio (NASDAQ:SIRI) became the "Official Satellite Radio Partner of the National Football League." Following similar deals with the National Basketball Association and the National Hockey League, Sirius will create "The NFL Radio Network" with 24/7 content, in addition to the right to broadcast every NFL game live nationwide.

But at what price? Sirius will pay the NFL $188 million in cash over seven years, plus $32 million in stock. In addition, the NFL will have the ability to earn warrants to purchase another 50 million shares. In an interview this morning with Fool Jeff Fischer, an XM Satellite Radio (NASDAQ:XMSR) executive called the move "desperate looking."

We agree.

Don't doubt it -- XM clearly wanted the deal. But according to the executive, XM had a price from which it figured it could generate a decent return on investment. Sirius simply bid above that threshold.

However, paying with further shareholder dilution in order to get a content deal is not a prudent move. Let's not forget the 73.17 million share offering Sirius recently announced, and last year's 92% shareholder dilution just to raise enough cash to survive.

When I typed in SIRI in the ticker box this morning, what shocked me wasn't that the stock was at $2.27. What shocked me was that Sirius had a $2.27 billion market cap to go with it. It absolutely befuddles me to think a company that size, with no operating history and less than $20 million in revenues this year, has 1 billion shares outstanding.

For perspective, consider that the following Dow components have fewer than 1 billion shares outstanding: United Technologies (NYSE:UTX), 3M (NYSE:MMM), International Paper (NYSE:IP), Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT), and AT&T (NYSE:T).

Plus, Sirius is far behind XM. At last count, XM had passed 1 million subscribers, and is still in the red. Sirius just passed 200,000 subscribers earlier this month. And while Sirius had $479 million in cash at the end of September (not counting the cash from its latest dilution), it has also lost more than $312 million from operations through nine months this year.

If this deal helps Sirius survive, then it may have been worth it. The deal structure is back-loaded and fairly success-based. Sirius will pay the NFL $10 million in the first two years, $85 million in years three through five, and then $93 million in years six and seven. Thus, if Sirius isn't around to pay, then it won't matter how much the deal was for.

The NFL might be Sirius' best shot at gaining traction on XM. But in the end, this could end up being nothing more than Sirius' last "Hail Mary" pass.

Talk NFL and satellite radio on the XM Satellite and Sirius discussion boards - only at Jeff Hwang can be reached at