"Get Ready!!!! Starting May 18, XM/Sirius subscribers get a FREE WEEK OF HOWARD STERN!!"
Cymbals Crash!! Howard Stern roars "This is GLORIOUS!!" Apparently unrelated laughter and guffaws ensue!!! All because for one week and ONE WEEK ONLY, the Howard Stern show will be available FOR FREE to XM/Sirius Subscribers!! I mean, if that's not worth shouting about, please tell me WHAT IS???
Ok, a little perspective and history, if I may:
For the better part of twenty years, Howard Stern was available on Free, Terrestrial Radio in pretty much every market in the US. I used to listen to him on my morning drive to my substitute gigs in Western New York, way back in the early-90s. That is, I used to listen to him until he made me feel dirty for the experience- usually about five minutes a day.
Then, Stern was offered a massively bloated contract by Already-Heavily-In-Debt Sirius Satellite Radio. I think it was something like 10 years, $500 million. Which is more than Alex Rodriguez makes. Barely.
To the shock of the suits at Sirius, the signing of Stern (how's that for alliteration?) did not result in a flood of new subscribers. In fact, it had only two immediate results: First, Sirius tried to renegotiate it's contract with Stern. Second, Sirius became much more interested in a bankruptcy-avoiding merger with rival XM.
(In the meantime, XM had made it's own share of brain-dead financial decisions, including signing dimwit yakkers Opie and Anthony to a bloated long-term contract, offering the show first as a "premium" to XM subscribers, then quickly pulling back and offering it for free when they realized that the number of people willing to pay extra to hear two adults yuk it up over situations and jokes aimed primarily at 12-year old boys and mentally underdeveloped "men" was not as large a universe as they were conned into believing.)
Which brings us to the merger, and the preposterously wasteful Howard Stern contract becoming the shared responsibility of both XM and Sirius. Which means that I must be subjected to the desperate pleas of XM radio to open my wallet and pay even MORE money (I already pay for three subscriptions, at $6.99 a month each) for the "privilege" of listening to a middle-aged shock jock interview strippers.
Earth to XM/Sirius: Bed. Made. Lie. Like the Yankees with A-Rod, you overpaid through the nose because you insisted on bidding against yourselves, and now you expect the fans to bail you out. Well, guess what? No one's buying those $3000 home plate seats at new Yankee Stadium, and all the shouting and screeching in the world isn't going to convince me to pay extra to listen to a guy I wouldn't give more than five minutes a day to when he was FREE.
May 25 can't come fast enough.