Getting Sirius about Fox, Part II
I blogged Wednesday about the relationship between Sirius Satellite Radio and Fox News Channel. My initial inquiries to Sirius (to whom I currently subscribe) were met with unsatisfactory results. So, being the diligent troublemaker that I am, I contacted both Fox and Sirius again yesterday, continuing to probe.
Fox has a recording when you call their corporate offices which states that their contract with Sirius expired on January 1, 2006. The recording directed callers to contact Sirius's customer relations line and ask that Sirius renew the contract with Fox. So, trying again with Sirius, I got a more helpful person on the line. She confirmed the information on the Fox recording, and stated that they are still in negotiations. When I asked what "in negotiations" meant as far as a timeframe, she indicated that they are trying to resolve something by Friday. When asked why CNN took over the Fox spot on the Sirius channel lineup, they said that they needed something to fill that channel.
Wanting a bit more specific information, I e-mailed their media relations people, and received an auto-reply that directed me to call another person, as their head contact was away until Monday. I called and left a message. Then I received a response to my e-mail, asking if I was media or a subscriber. Identifying myself as a blogger and a subscriber, I renewed my question, and again this morning with no response.
And Sirius is still not carrying Fox as of this morning. But never fear, as they are adding a Playboy Channel, which many will tune in to listen for the interviews.
I don't want to read more into this than there is, but if this were a simple matter of contracts and dollars and cents, I don't think Sirius would be so cryptic about it. And allowing a contract to lapse without any kind of interim extension is odd, especially when it involves the top cable news network. As I explained to numerous Sirius representatives this week, I would not have selected them if they didn't have Fox News Channel. And despite the remarks of the Sirius customer service rep, I can't imagine that Sirius replaced Fox's channel with a CNN channel on a temporary basis, as such things are almost certainly also governed by contract.
My only guess is that Fox is gone. The problem for Sirius is that I'll be joining them. It can't survive as the Stern-only satellite radio, and while listening to Hugh Hefner's musings on the benefits of pornography will be a great thing to have the kids listen to as well, Sirius may have made a significant miscalculation about the diversity of their listeners. Because the network of Eason Jordan just doesn't cut it for the news anymore.