SATELLITE RADIO HITS THE ROAD

XM Plans Cross-Country Christmas Season Tour

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CHICAGO (AdAge.com) -- Ramping up for the holiday shopping season, XM Satellite Radio Holdings today announced the nationwide expansion of its digital-quality, coast-to-coast radio service.

Six weeks after launching in San Diego and Dallas/Fort Worth, and following last month's rollout in the South, the subscription-based satellite radio company is embarking on a 25-day, 25-city tour that includes stops in Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Philadelphia, San Fransicso and Washington.

A special bi-coastal event will take place on Dec. 5 in New York and Seattle.

"Over the next

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25 days we will go around the country, particularly the Northeast, and actually bring the XM experience to cars that are equipped with the XM service," XM President-CEO Hugh Panero said at a press conference today in Chicago.

Power of X
The "Power of X" listen-and-ride tour bears the name of the company's marketing push, which broke in movie theaters in August through Omnicom Group's TBWA/Chiat/Day, Playa del Rey, Calif.

Mr. Panero said 100,000 XM-ready radios will be available by the end of the year at retail outlets including Best Buy and Circuit City, which will begin to include the radios in their national advertising circulars this weekend.

Print ads, outlining product attributes like cost and features, will appear in local newspapers where the service is launching. The ads are designed to drive traffic to retail stores, Mr. Panero said.

100 channels
XM will broadcast 100 digital-quality music, news, talk, sports and entertainment channels -- 71 will be genre-specific music channels, about 30 of which will be commercial free. The service will cost $9.99 a month.

Rival Sirius Satellite Radio, which has postponed the launch of its service twice this year, is scheduled to release launch plans Wednesday.

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