Big deals on hold until boost in cash flow
NEW YORK — Sirius Satellite Radio chief exec Mel Karmazin said Wednesday he expects the company to turn a profit by 2007 and that he won’t be inking any more Howard Stern-like deals unless they can boost cash flow.
Sirius is paying Stern $100 million to join its shop in January from Viacom’s Infinity, where the shockjock hosts the country’s most popular morning-drive program.
Karmazin, speaking at Sirius’ annual shareholder meeting in Gotham, explained that Stern’s contract would pay for itself if just 1 million of the 12 million Stern fans on Infinity signed up for Sirius’ $12.95 monthly subscription.
Also in recent months, Sirius signed costly sports programming deals with the NFL and the NBA.
“Imus if he was available would be great, but it all comes down to the math. He’s … greedy,” Karmazin joked.
Turning to digital music players and possible content deals, Karmazin revealed he was among those digital entertainment execs having dinner with Apple topper Steve Jobs earlier this week.
Karmazin also insisted the company has enough cash on hand to launch a fourth satellite that is presently earthbound. Company could opt to keep that satellite as a spare.
Sirius shares closed down 3¢ at $5.64 in trading Wednesday.