NEW YORK CITY, New York - I was wondering why I couldn't log into my streaming Sirius account yesterday afternoon - SIRI/XM was in the middle of their big channel synergization.
As far as the music channels:
In many cases, channels will now be simulcast on both satellite systems. This was a no-brainer in the case of many channels (like decade-specific channels) where SIRI/XM seems to have taken the best of the best as far as DJs, etc.
My first fear was that Outlaw Country (SIRI 63) would be lost in the merger, but it's still there. Willie Nelson's channel has come over from XM and both of these channels are now on both systems.
Area 38 is now just called Area (presumably it's not channel 38 on XM).
One of the best grabs for SIRI is the '40s on 4 channel. Sirius used to have a channel Swing Street that played a lot of old big band stuff that I used to listen to a bit; this channel got canceled a few years ago but it's essentially back now.
There are casualties, like the Punk channel and the Disco channel. Most surprisingly, both systems have deleted the old-skool hip hop channel (this was Backspin on Sirius, The Rhyme on XM). I'm sure SIRI/XM did their homework on this, their demographic data must have indicated they could drop this music, but I know a lot of people who are upset with this. It seemed to be the kind of offering that satellite radio is made for. There's already some whining and complaining on the blogs about this move.
The loss of Backspin probably means that Kurtis Blow is looking for work, if you need him.
The full lineup diff is here.