16 Bucks worth of Radio

Two things caught my ears today.

First thing.

Assuming you want it, 16 dollars gets you a piece of satellite radio.

According to their web site, CSR, the operators of XM satellite radio in Canada has “filed a final prospectus with securities regulatory authorities in each of the Canadian provinces in connection with an initial public offering of 3,437,500 subordinate voting shares at a price of $16 per share.

Canadian dollars mind you.

Second thing.

I see that 16 bucks (real American dollars that is) will buy me just over 16 days of commercial free CNN – delivered on line through CNN Pipeline.

CNN clearly got their money’s worth in this branding exercise – they got hook lines a plenty for this new service:

Control it. Watch it. Live

CNN Pipeline. Ride Your World.

Funny that – I control my media just fine, on my own, without having to fork over 99 cents a day.

My thing.

Whether it’s satellite radio or CNN sans commercials, we Canadians love to pay for radio and TV.

You’d think we’d all be flag-waving, demonstration-leading, rabid little beavers trying to save free, over-the-air broadcasting. After all, Marconi bounced the first trans-Atlantic signal to Newfoundland, we practically invented the communications satellite, and the first television set in North America was built by a distant relative of mine, Alphone Ouimet.


The reality is, the vast majority of us pay for TV by cable or satellite.

We’re abandoning AM and FM radio in droves – currently to listen to our iPods.

Note to Steve Jobs: my kids think you missed the boat and should be marketing the new iPod to their grandparents – the iPod Nana. While I’m on this aside, it seems to be official – there are now more accessories available for the iPod than there are for your average Detroit automobile.

So what if there’ll be more shareholders than listeners, we Canadians should be lining up to fork over our 16 bucks to get a piece of the bird (though it is a shame those satellite radio receivers are so damn ugly).

We’re your perfect test market. We’d jump at the chance to fork over some of our multi-coloured money so we can stick some decent content on our PSP’s or our iPods.


Forget about CNN and Desperate Housewives.

This is Canada.

If you really want a blockbuster success, try 6 Feet Under. Coronation Street.

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