SBJ/August 1 - 7, 2005/Media

XM wins a point in satellite radio sports war with USTA deal

XM Satellite Radio has signed a three-year sponsorship and content deal with the U.S. Tennis Association. The agreement adds the U.S. Open Series, along with the U.S. Open, America’s premier tennis event, to XM’s collection of sports rights.

Sports programming on XM and Sirius Satellite Radio
XM Satellite Radio Sirius Satellite Radio
MLB — MLB Homeplate, featuring all live MLB games, original content, classic games and select games in Spanish NFL — Live coverage of all NFL games, plus exclusive 24/7 NFL news and talk shows
NCAA — Includes programming of schools from the ACC, Pac-10 and Big Ten football and men’s and women’s basketball NBA — Up to 40 NBA games each week
PGA Tour — PGA Tour Network, featuring news, scores and highlights from the PGA Tour, Champions Tour and Nationwide Tour NCAA — Includes programming of schools from the Big 12, Big East, Big Ten, Pac-10 and SEC, including Kansas, Michigan, Notre Dame and Texas
NASCAR — The Official Satellite Radio Service of NASCAR NHL — Regular-season games, the playoffs and the Stanley Cup Finals
Indy Racing League — IRL broadcasts IMS Radio Network, prerace programming and additional segments English Premier League — Game programming
World Cup soccer — 2006 World Cup programming Horse racing — The talk show “Down The Stretch”; “Race Of The Week” featuring coverage of the biggest races from around the country
USTA — The U.S. Open Series and the U.S. Open Arena Football League — An AFL Game of the Week
NASCAR (starting in 2007): NASCAR Nextel Cup, Busch and Craftsman Truck series races on a specially created, 24/7 NASCAR channel
Sources: XM and Sirius
Under the deal, XM will run as many as 250 minute-long segments on the U.S. Open Series on a variety of XM channels prior to the U.S. Open. Once the two-week tournament begins Aug. 29, XM’s on-site coverage will be anchored by Bud Collins and include a daily highlights show and live coverage, including live action of the men’s and women’s semifinals and finals.

While content rights were important, on-site activation also is integral to XM. Pricing could not be determined.

“We see the Open as a premium marketing asset,” said XM marketing chief Howard Jacobs, “and getting our product in front of the influential and affluent audience is also a big part of this deal.”

Aside from a broadcast presence at the Open, XM also will sample and sell radios and subscriptions on site. An XM Radio night scheduled for Sept. 2 will feature a premium giveaway and special discounts for all fans at the National Tennis Center.

XM also is hoping to develop co-promotions with Open sponsors such as Lexus and American Express. XM will mine the USTA membership database of more than 670,000 with direct-marketing offers.

With no terrestrial radio deal as yet, XM may be the Open’s only radio outlet. “We’re trying to get our premier property into as many media platforms as possible, and there’s always some cachet when you’re involved in cutting-edge media,” said USTA Chief Business Officer Pierce O’Neil.

The Marketing Arm’s Millsport is XM’s sports marketing agency of record.

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