Regarding satellite radio, which is the better service, XM or Sirius? How do the channels compare?
What a splendid and interesting question! I keep chewing on the question of whether it’s worth paying a monthly fee at all for radio service, but I can understand where others find it appealing!
In terms of your specific question, both Sirius Satellite Radio and XM Satellite Radio offer roughly the same programming regarding music. Both feature many channels with commercial-free music from almost every genre. The main difference comes in sports and other talk programming.
If you are a baseball fan, then XM is the right choice. You can listen to every MLB game. If you’re a Red Sox fan in Phoenix, you could still listen to every game. If you are more of an NFL fan, then Sirius is your best bet. You can listen to every NFL game with Sirius, and you can even choose to listen to the home or away broadcast. Sirius also features a lot of college football, NBA, and NHL games. Overall, Sirius is better for sports except for baseball. Both also have lots of options for news, traffic, and weather for major cities.
Another feather in Sirius’ cap is their recent acquisition of Howard Stern. His show will begin airing “uncensored” on January 9th on Sirius.
The hardware options are similar. You can buy portable devices or have them installed in your car. My colleague Stephen Rahn, who helped with this question, actually owns one of each since he can’t live without baseball or football. Each also offers you the ability to listen to their music stations online from your PC at no extra charge
For fans of Bruce Springsteen and Elvis, Sirius has 24-hour all Bruce and all Elvis channels. XM has its own version of the “raunchy talk show” called Opie and Anthony. Their show caters to much the same
audience as Howard Stern does.
For talk radio, both have ESPN radio and ESPNnews. Sirius has E! Entertainment Radio, a channel for truckers, Sirius RIght and Sirius Left for your political preferences, Fox News Channel, NPR Radio,
C-SPAN radio, CNBC, Bloomberg News, BBC radio, Court TV, Maxim Radio, and ABC newst/talk. Sirius also has Martha Stewart’s talk show.
XM has Radio Disney C-SPAN, Bloomberg, Sporting News Radio, Fox Sports Radio, E!, NASCAR Radio, The Weather Channel, Air America, Family Talk, Fox News, and PGA tour network.
Both services constalntly add or update their programming, so you may want to check out their websites for the most updated lineups.
Hope that helps you decide!