New York - Nov 14, 2001 - Sirius Satellite Radio announced that it will launch its service on February 14, 2002, in the metropolitan markets of Houston, Denver and Phoenix. The announcement was made during a conference call held on November 14. Sirius worked closely with its hardware and retail partners to select these launch markets based on commuter data, retail spending patterns and marketing opportunities. Sirius stated that its testing has shown excellent results. Sirius also expects to have a complete service launch by the third quarter of 2002.
Sirius' launch markets feature large commuter bases, early adopters of technology, favorable attitudes towards mobile electronic products and strong retail environments. The three markets encompass approximately 10.5 million people, including more than 1.4 million commuters who spend at least an hour a day driving to work. Consumers will be able to purchase Sirius receivers in more than 200 storefronts, including major consumer electronics outlets like Circuit City, Best Buy, Good Guys, Ultimate Electronics, Car Toys, Audio Express and Crutchfield. Advertising, retail marketing, public relations, event marketing and online and direct marketing will support the launch plans.
Kenwood, Panasonic, Jensen and Clarion will have production units available before the service launch. The company expects to announce the next phase of its rollout in early January at the Consumer Electronic Show in Las Vegas.
At the end of October Sirius expanded its in-vehicle testing. This testing was designed to complete the evaluation of all aspects of the company's product and transmission, distribution and system capabilities, including retail sales support, installation, subscriber management and billing, customer service, and communications.
During drive testing, Sirius was able to compile critical objective and subjective data from drive routes across the country. User feedback on the quality of the service was measured by factors including sound quality, installation, reception, customer service and programming.
Sirius commented that the overall test results met or exceeded the company's demanding performance criteria. Sirius was particularly pleased with the input from a consumer standpoint that showed a strong consumer interest in the commercial-free music, news and entertainment line-up.
Sirius also announced that it has expanded its music lineup to include 60 channels of commercial-free music, all originally produced at the company's national broadcast studio. Sirius' channel mix also includes 40 channels of sports, news and entertainment programming, including services such as CNBC, CNN Headline News, Fox News, ESPNews, Discovery and A&E.
Concerning the resignation of David Margolese as CEO, company officials noted that the search for a CEO is progressing well.