XM SATELLITE RADIO TO AIR BASEBALL GAMES

$650 Million Deal Ups Ante With Rival Sirius

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DETROIT (AdAge.com) -- Major League Baseball and XM Satellite Radio Holdings will hold a press conference later today to announce a whopping 11-year, $650 million programming agreement, a baseball executive said.

MLB Commissioner Allan H. "Bud" Selig and

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XM officials could not be reached for comment. Baseball notified reporters Tuesday night that it would hold a joint press conference today at its New York offices with XM Satellite Radio CEO Hugh Panero.

Service to begin in 2006
The deal would put every game from every team on XM's satellite service beginning in 2006. The agreement is structured so that MLB will receive $470 million over eight years, with an option to extend the deal for three more years at $180 million, bringing the total to $650 million.

The deal further escalates the battle between Washington-based XM and New York-based Sirius Satellite Radio in this growing medium. Sirius last year signed a seven-year, $220 million deal to broadcast National Football League games on its service and earlier this month announced a stunning five-year, $500 million deal to bring shock jock Howard Stern aboard in 2006.

Subscribers
XM, which has 2.5 million subscribers to Sirius' 700,000, also has a rights deal with Nascar, shock jocks Opie & Anthony, and a new show featuring former National Public Radio personality Bob Edwards. Both satellite services offer college football games. Subscribers pay $9.99 a month for XM and $12.95 a month for Sirius, which also has deals with the National Hockey League and the National Basketball Association.

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