Satellite Radio Could Lose Big in Chrysler Bankruptcy

May 11, 2009
Sirius Stream Jockey

Sirius Stream Jockey

The big loser in the Chrysler bankruptcy conflamma playing out now? After bondholders, blue-collar workers and executives alike, you mean?

That could be SiriusXM satellite radio. The newly merged entity had been hoping for good economic times, more new-vehicle installations and thousands more new subscribers to pay for its combination of dueling satellite-radio companies last year. Now with the auto industry in turmoil and one of its biggest installers--Chrysler--in Chapter 11, the entertainment provider is looking at serious erosion on its own balance sheet.

According to the irony of blogging it for free--the SiriusXM duo counted nearly a million new Chrysler-based listeners in 2008. The plummet in Chrysler sales this year will drive that number, as will the continuing freefall if consumers lose faith in the brand during its 18-month renaissance at the behest of Fiat and the Feds.

SiriusXM also might get their contract with Chrysler cut off, if the judge overseeing the Chapter 11 filing sees fit.

SiriusXM itself has seen hard times in the past year. It took an investment from Liberty Media to avert its own possible bankruptcy filing. And, well, it still employs Howard Stern even though his media relevance is somewhere between Heidi and Spencer these days.

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