Sirius XM Extends NFL Deal, Passes 20 Million Subscriber Mark

Satellite radio firm hits milestone, renews key sports contract as time is running out on renewal talks with Howard Stern

NEW YORK - Sirius XM Radio said Tuesday that it has surpassed the 20 million subscriber mark, and it unveiled a five-year renewal of its NFL program contract.

However, the company once again provided no update on its contract renewal talks with radio host Howard Stern, whose five-year Sirius deal expires at year's end.

Sirius had previously predicted it would end the year with more than 20 million customers, and it said Tuesday it has indeed passed that mark. "We have added the last 10 million subscribers faster than the first 10 million - despite a tremendously competitive environment," said CEO Mel Karmazin, lauding this as "a strong endorsement of our service and our programming."

The NFL and Sirius have been partners since 2004, and the satellite radio firm will continue to broadcast every NFL game live nationwide from the pre-season through the Super Bowl in 2016 in a sign it remains committed to key content.

Said Scott Greenstein, president and chief content officer at Sirius: "The NFL has been and will continue to be one of the major tentpoles of Sirius XM's lineup."

Sirius shares closed down 2.1% at $1.37.

The Sirius news came a day after Dr. Laura Schlessinger told The Hollywood Reporter exclusively that among the first subjects she will tackle in depth on her new Sirius XM talk show, which starts Jan. 3, will be ones that nearly derailed her.
- race relations and free speech.