If you’re hooked on the convenience of satellite radio, be warned: your bill may see an increase in the coming months. Customer support representatives are now confirming a rate increase for Sirius XM services. There will be a $2 increase for additional subscriptions and a fee of $2.99 for the online Internet radio service (which is currently free with a subscription). On the upside, all Internet subscriptions will now feature the 128k premium feed.
At this point, no channel lineup changes or new content offerings to accompany the price hike have been confirmed. Users with a single radio who do not take advantage of the online feed won’t be affected, as subscriptions for the Base, Best of, and A la Carte packages won’t see any changes.
When the FCC approved the merger between XM and Sirius last year, they required a three-year price freeze. That promise only applied to the basic $12.95 monthly charge, however, leaving the company free to change other prices associated with its service, as it is now doing.
The new rates will take effect on March 11. Thankfully, current subscribers can lock in at the current rates for three years. Of course, that also means you’ll be committing yourself to a significant contract for that timeframe.
It’s no secret that the economy is bad right now, which makes this hike especially difficult for some users to swallow. For Sirius XM, this price hike could be what it needs to get out of debt and survive, however. After all, even if current subscribers spend the money to lock in at lower rates, Sirius XM still wins.