I'm wondering whether Tim's feeling a little defensive, since his response to Sirius' (NASDAQ:SIRI) lack of profitability is "So what?" I know some great companies started out unprofitably -- and looked a bit speculative, investing-wise -- but I'd argue that Sirius and XM Satellite Radio (NASDAQ:XMSR) have taken it to the extreme, given how long they've been burning cash faster than they make it.

Tim even admits that Sirius is second-string compared to XM; that's fine, he says, because satellite radio is currently a duopoly. I don't agree. These two don't live in a vacuum, where everybody's going to play eenie-meenie-miney-moe to choose between them. They face tons of well-entrenched competition, as well as the threat of continued technological changes in music distribution.

Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) still got iPod mania on its side, and just think how many folks plug their iPods into their car stereos instead of turning on the radio. And of course, there's no shortage of services trying to woo listeners, like Napster (NASDAQ:NAPS) and RealNetworks (NASDAQ:RNWK).

Meanwhile, I know only too well that terrestrial radio shot itself in the foot by providing banal, boring, predictable radio with too many ads, but companies like Clear Channel (NYSE:CCU) may be starting to get it. They know they'll have to be more forward-thinking to make it in today's market -- and if they do get smart (personally, I think it's a big if), they'll be a huge threat to the growth of both satellite radio companies.

Soon, both companies will have to go beyond affluent early adopters and start convincing folks with less disposable income to pay up for a service they've always viewed as free. With rising interest rates and energy prices spooking consumers, I'm thinking satellite radio faces a rocky road ahead, at least in the near term.

Sorry, Tim. Satellite radio may be a cool concept, but now just isn't a good time for investors to get starry-eyed over Sirius.

XM Satellite Radio is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers recommendation. To find out what other companies David Gardner and his team of analysts have identified as industry-changing disrupters, click here for a 30-day free trial.

There's more to this Duel! Check out the other three arguments, and then vote for a winner.

Alyce Lomax does not own shares of any of the companies mentioned. The Fool has a disclosure policy.