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Thursday, November 13, 2008

SIRIUS XM Expands/Limits TTRH Listening Options In One Move

Edited 11/30/08 to reflect that "The Village" has been replaced by "Holiday Traditions" programming through December 25th.

The dust continues to settle in the reorganization of the SIRIUS XM channel lineup, but here's where the Theme Time Radio Hour schedule stands as of November 13, 2008.

SIRIUS

On the SIRIUS side of the spectrum, TTRH will air on the SIRIUS version of "Deep Tracks," (SIRIUS Channel 16) Wednesdays at 11 am ET.

"Encore" presentations will air Mondays 8 pm ET, Thursdays 12 am ET, and Sundays 8 am ET, all on SIRIUS Channel 16.

XM

The graphic on the "official" TTRH page is still erroneously listing the show as 10 am, and the page still contains the link to the defunct XMX channel's page.  The table under the graphic reflects the correct times and channels as noted below.

On the XM Radio side, TTRH will also air on Wednesdays at 11 am ET on the XM version of "Deep Tracks," XM Channel 40.

XM "encore" presentations on Deep Tracks Channel 40 are on Mondays at 8 PM ET, Thursdays 12 am ET, and Sundays 8 am ET, paralleling the SIRIUS Deep Tracks schedule.

UPDATED 11/30/08

XM is also now listing two additional weekly "encore" shows on "The Village."  However, regular programming has been discontinued on Channel 15 during most of December in lieu of holiday music.  The XM Radio site notes that "The Village" will return on December 26th.

Wednesdays, 12 pm (Noon) ET, XM Channel 15 "The Village"

Mondays at 12 am (Midnight) ET  - XM Channel 15, "The Village"

XMX Channel 2 "Retired" And Listener Response

A reply to an email concerning the fate of XMX Channel 2, which had aired the current TTRH show all day Wednesdays on XM Radio, stated that the channel had been "retired." Currently, there's nothing in the new XM or SIRIUS channel lineup to suggest there will be a replacement for XMX.

Dreamtime received more email on the SIRIUS XM channel changes than we have on any subject since the start of Season 3. We had a few messages from SIRIUS subscribers welcoming TTRH to the SIRIUS line-up, but some noted that the show did not air when they were typically listening in their cars. To a person, XM Radio listeners - whether internet or satellite radio subscribers - complained about the deletion of XMX from the new channel line-up. Several wrote that it would be difficult, if not impossible, for them to continue listening to TTRH at the current times. A few went to the extent of complaining that they would cancel their subscriptions.

Although I don't know the inner workings of SIRIUS XM radio, it seems a counterproductive business move not to have at least one channel whose programming consists of repeating popular shows from other channels. To get all business-speak, it seems like a win-win situation. SIRIUS XM gets more air time for some of its more popular shows, probably at no additional cost (I think it can be safely assumed that the TTRH contract probably allows unlimited rebroadcast). Cadillac gets their sponsorship acknowledged more often. The listening audience grows since people have more options to hear TTRH. Now that I reflect on it, I wonder what percentage of TTRH's claimed 2 million listeners were picking up the show on XMX?

Getting XMX Back On the Air

TiVo, cable DVRs, podcasts, it's an on-demand world. Thanks to their podcasts, I listen to more public radio now than I ever have because I can shift my listening to Wait, Wait Don't Tell Me, Fresh Air and Car Talk to the times I want. Thanks to TiVo, my nightly channel line-up consists of shows I want to watch, rather than what a network programmer thinks I should be watching at that particular time.

SIRIUS XM is missing an opportunity not offering some version of on-demand in their channel line-up. A few of the newer SIRIUS XM radio receivers let you schedule and record shows for later listening, but most don't. We need XMX - or something like XMX - back on the air for Theme Time Radio Hour, as well as for Tom Petty's Buried Treasure, and for other SIRIUS XM shows we would listen to if it was convenient to listen to them.

If you agree, send an email to programming@xmradio.com and express your opinion.

Can we get XMX out of "retirement"? I don't know, but I'm betting that the only way it's going to happen is for us to tell XM we want it back, and we want the all-day TTRH back too.

1 comment:

Adam said...

Here is the message I sent to XM:

Hello

I am very upset that XMX (Channel 2 on XM) has disappeared. This channel was my only chance to listen to popular XM shows such as Theme Time Radio Hour, Tom Petty's Buried Treasure, and Marty Stuart's American Oddessy at times when it was convenient to me. I work outside my home and can't listen online at work.

It seems to me that you are doing yourselves a tremendous dis-service by deleting this channel from your broadcast lineup. I can only speculate that you will lose a great many subscribers because of this poor decision. By having this channel, you reach a great many more listeners and also provide more air time for popular shows.

Hopefully you will re-think this decision, and get XMX back on the air, and soon!

Thank you.

Adam Dean.