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Sirius, NASCAR Agree to a Five-Year Deal

February 23, 2005|From Associated Press

NEW YORK — Sirius Satellite Radio Inc. reached an agreement to broadcast NASCAR races and related events over a five-year period for $107.5 million, luring the broadcast rights away from rival XM Satellite Radio Holdings Inc.

The deal, announced Tuesday, calls for Sirius to become the exclusive satellite radio partner for NASCAR. The agreement was a coup for Sirius, the smaller of the two satellite radio providers.

Sirius and XM have been committing large sums of money to lock in programming as part of their drives to build up their businesses and attract customers.

Last fall, Sirius announced that it had entered a five-year, $500-million deal to broadcast Howard Stern's show beginning in 2006, when his contract with Infinity Broadcasting ends. XM signed Major League Baseball to its service last fall.

Sirius reported last month that it ended 2004 with more than 1.1 million subscribers and expected to finish 2005 with more than 2.5 million. XM, which is based in Washington, said it had more than 3.2 million users as of the end of 2004.

Sirius also has an all-NFL channel and a deal with College Sports Television, which enables Sirius to air the games of 23 major-college teams, including USC, Notre Dame and Louisiana State. The company also signed a deal in November to air the men's NCAA tournament through 2007, and approximately 225 English Premier League soccer games through May.

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