Radio satcaster’s launch on Dish is Sirius business

Deal to give service promo push into 9.7 mil DBS households

In its most ambitious marketing push to date, digital radio satcaster Sirius has launched its commercial-free music services on EchoStar’s Dish network.

Deal, as announced earlier this year, will give Sirius a hefty promotional push into some 9.7 million DBS households. Viewers will be encouraged to purchase the full Sirius in-car and in-home subscription service.

Dish premium subscribers will gain free access to all 61 Sirius music channels. Basic subs will have the option to upgrade their subscriptions to include Sirius.

EchoStar retailers will also start offering a Dish Network-branded Sirius Satellite Radio receiver for $150.

Gotham-based group, one of two digital satellite radio providers, recently reported that it has reached a paid sub count of 400,000.

Sirius offers 110 channels of music, live sports, info and entertainment services for a flat fee of $12.95 per month.

Satcaster significantly trails market leader XM Satellite Radio, which has some 1.7 million subscribers and is on track to reach nearly 2.8 million by the end of this year, say analysts. But company should get a significant boost from new retail distribution deals with Radio Shack and Wal-Mart.

Automaker Ford may announce a factory install program for the service, which could give Sirius a serious lift.