Sirius

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Sirius (http://www.sirius.com) is one of the two major U.S. satellite radio services. As of May, 2004, Sirius ranks as the #2 satellite service in terms of number of subscribers, second to XM. Unlike XM, Sirius employs a satellite constellation that does not require a southern view of the skies, so arguably subscribers will experience better reception.

Sirius carries several important radio networks, including the full slate of Air America Radio's programming. (As of May, 2004, XM offers a subset of AAR's programming.) Other Sirius channels include National Public Radio, BBC World Service, Sirius Left, and a channel entirely aimed at the GLBT community. Many listeners prefer Sirius because, unlike XM, its ownership does not include controversial Clear Channel. Also, Sirius pioneered commercial-free music channels, a concept XM only recently adopted.

As long as subscribers pay per annum, Sirius and XM do not differ in price. Ford, DaimlerChrysler, BMW, MINI, and other automobile manufacturers offer Sirius receivers as standard or optional equipment in their new vehicles. Select Hertz rental cars offer Sirius.

In 2005, Sirius signed "shock jock" Howard Stern to an exclusive contract beginning in January, 2006. Sirius also has exclusive satellite radio broadcast rights to U.S. National Football League games.

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