Sirius narrows loss

Sirius Satellite Radio reported a narrower third-quarter loss and recorded a 50 per cent increase in new subscribers ahead of its planned combination with larger rival XM Satellite Radio. Sirius reported a loss of $120.1 million (E83.2m) for the three months ended September 30, compared with a loss of $162.9 million in the year-ago period. Revenues rose 45 per cent to $241.8 million from $167.1 million last year.

Sirius added 524,938 net subscribers to finish the quarter with 7.7 million, or 50 per cent more than a year ago. XM is larger with 8.6 million subscribers, but it has been growing more slowly than Sirius. Sirius said it expects to finish the year with more than 8 million subscribers.

Sirius said it planned to hold a shareholder vote on the planned acquisition of XM on November 13, the same day XM’s shareholders are expected to vote. The deal is still facing regulatory scrutiny in Washington by Department of Justice and Federal Communications Commission.

Average monthly churn edged up to 2.1 per cent from 2 per cent a year ago. For the first nine months of the year, Sirius posted a net loss of $399 million, versus a loss of $859.3 million, a year earlier.

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