SIRIUS RADIO REPORTS WIDENING LOSSES

Satellite Service Looking for New Ad Agency

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A correction has been made in this story. See below for details.

CHICAGO (AdAge.com) -- Sirius Satellite Radio, which has just opened a review for it s advertising account, today posted widening losses for its second quarter.

The subscription-based, digital-quality radio service, which launched nationally July 1, reported a net loss applicable to common shareholders of $124.6 million for the quarter, up from a $72 million loss in the same period last year. It reported revenues of $70,000 for the quarter -- with $50,000 coming from subscriber revenue and the rest from advertising fees -- up from zero in the year-earlier period.

Sirius said it had 3,347 subscribers at the end of the second quarter and 6,510 as of Aug. 11.

The company is currently

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looking for an agency to handle a fourth-quarter branding effort. Interpublic Group of Cos.' McCann-Erickson Worldwide, New York, is the incumbent agency.

So far the only work done on the brand has come from McCann's marketing-services unit, MRM Partners Worldwide, New York, which handles relationship-marketing efforts, sponsorships and direct-response TV. MRM will remain Sirius' relationship-marketing agency.

Sirius broadcasts 100 channels for $12.95 per month, including 60 commercial-free music channels and 40 news, entertainment and sports channels. Rival XM Satellite Radio Holdings, which launched nationally last fall, charges $9.99 per month for 100 channels. XM's programming includes 71 music channels, 30 of which are commercial free.

Sirius has exclusive partnerships with DaimlerChrysler, BMW of North America and Ford Motor Co., while XM has exclusive deals with General Motors Corp. -- one of XM's financial backers -- and American Isuzu Motors, whose Japanese parent, Isuzu Motors Ltd., is 49% owned by GM. Sirius and XM have joint distribution agreements with Volkswagen of America and its Audi of America unit, as well as Porsche Cars North America.

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CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story incorrectly reported that the company posted revenues of $70 million for the quarter -- with $50 million coming from subscriber revenue and the rest from advertising fees. The actual values are $70,000 in revenue, with $50,000 from subscriber revenue and $20,000 from ad fees.

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