There's a polarizing talk show celebrity on the loose. Will Sirius XM Radio
Keith Olbermann was booted from MSNBC on Friday.
The contract between MSNBC and the star of Countdown With Keith Olbermann ended after Friday night's show. Olbermann rose to fame as an ESPN sportscaster during the 1990s, making the move to NBC in 1997. Hoping to play up his left-leaning politics, he eventually set up camp at MSNBC.
There will naturally be conspiracy theories as to what led to the impasse between the two parties. He was recently suspended for making political contributions but was back on the air after serving his time. It may be merely a coincidence that General Electric is handing over NBC Universal to Comcast. However, the timing of Olbermann's dismissal and Comcast clearing regulatory approval can't be ignored.
Ultimately, what matters for investors is the opportunity that presents itself during times of flux, and now would be an ideal time for Sirius XM to step up with its next big programming deal.
Olbermann is controversial. There's a good chance that you may disagree with his style and politics. The same thing can be said of Howard Stern, yet he has become the biggest draw to Sirius. The satellite radio giant offers enough political programming to satisfy both sides, so adding Olbermann would result in incremental subscribers.
Sirius XM can use the boost. It just wrapped up its sixth consecutive quarter of sequential subscriber growth, but there's an interesting milestone that the media heavy is about to clear. Later this summer, it will be three years since Sirius and XM officially merged. The three-year freeze on basic subscription rates that was mandated by the Federal Communications Commission in approving the combination is about to thaw out. It will be easier to justify higher rates if Sirius XM can point to new talent added this year.
Will Olbermann come? Does his contract's termination have any "no compete" stipulations? We'll find out. For now, Olbermann and Sirius XM would be a good match. They both reside in New York City, and Sirius XM provides the best platform to give Olbermann the freedom to speak his mind while reaching the largest possible audience.
He can always go the premium Internet radio route or craft daily podcasts through Amazon.com's
There are plenty of questions that will be answered in the coming weeks, but for now it seems like a pairing meant to happen.
What content deal would you like to see Sirius XM ink next? Share your thoughts in the comment box below.