Howard Stern has struck a new five-year deal with SiriusXM Satellite Radio that includes plans for a streaming video component to augment his four-hour daily radio program.
The famed shock j0ck announced the agreement live on his show shortly after 7 a.m. ET on Tuesday. Details of the video plan were not immediately clear but SiriusXM said the pact includes a 12-year deal giving SiriusXM rights to video and audio material from Stern’s 30-year radio career and a plan “to launch its first venture into video programming with Howard.”
News of the deal sent SiriusXM shares soaring as much as 5% when the markets opened. As of noon, the stock was up 2.75% to $4.11. SiriusXM is controlled by John Malone’s Liberty Media.
Stern also has a separate pact with Lloyd Braun’s Whalerock Industries to create an Internet hub for all things Stern — a deal that lead to speculation that the radio veteran would pursue a direct-to-consumer option if SiriusXM balked at a rich renewal deal. But SiriusXM’s emphasis on the video component and long-term library rights in the new pact would seem to limit Stern’s ability to launch much of an online service.
Stern referred to a streaming video service in talking up the deal and expressing his affection for SiriusXM CEO Jim Meyer.
“I am living a dream here on satellite radio and Jim Meyer is my life partner and the baby we are about to have is our new streaming video app,” he said.
After some tough talk from Stern, who teased listeners on Monday that Wednesday might mark his last show, the star hailed the new deal in his own inimitable way.
“As a broadcaster, it does not get any better than working at SiriusXM and I’m truly excited for the future with this great company. I happen to think that its best days are ahead,” Stern said. “So, if you are not listening to SiriusXM and ‘The Howard Stern Show,’ then you are really more like a zombie, a rotting corpse monster, living half a life, deadened and blackened inside. It’s as if you were still watching black and white television while shopping in actual stores on your way to the post office to fax a memo.”
Stern has been the cornerstone of Sirius XM’s service since 2004, prior to Sirius’ merger with XM Satellite Radio. He signed his most recent five-year contract with the company in 2010. He has earned an estimated $80 million a year under that contract.
Negotiations went down to the wire, as Stern’s contract formally expires at year’s end but his last new show of 2015 is set for Wednesday.
Meyer made it clear in public statements during the past year that he hoped to keep Stern but not at a price that breaks the bank. Financial details of the new deal were not immediately available.
Stern’s longtime agent, Don Buchwald, called it a “cutting edge and truly unique broadcasting agreement” that “required a lot of give and take, as well as creative thinking on everyone’s part.”
Earlier this year, Stern ended his four-season run as a judge on NBC’s summer talent show “America’s Got Talent.”
Stern is credited with helping to build up SiriusXM’s subscriber base to nearly 33 million in the U.S. and Canada. Today, seven out of every 10 new cars sold in North America come with a SiriusXM free trial, and Stern is known to be a major draw for users to sign up as paying customers.