Losses growing Sirius

Satcaster looking to nab a million subs by 2005

NEW YORK — Losses widened at Sirius Satellite Radio as the satcaster spent heavily to pump up its subscriber numbers for the second quarter, ended June 30.

Company put $76 million toward marketing and subscriber acquisition costs to add 128,678 subs, breaking a company record set during the holiday season last year. Sirius surpassed the 500,000-subscriber mark July 13 and said its on pace for a million subs by year’s end.

But the company is burning through cash at an increasing rate, losing $133 million on revenue of $13 million, compared with a loss of about $110 million a year earlier on $2 million in revenue.

Sirius is attempting to differentiate itself through sports and personality-driven programming as a strategy to gain share against market leader XM. Company will begin broadcasting National Football League games in the fall, and it recently signed Eminem, pro skateboarder Tony Hawk and former NFL coach Dan Reeves to contracts.

With a year’s head start and more mature distribution deals, XM ended its second quarter with 2.1 million subscribers.

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