Sirius XM Canada Holdings Inc.
Company typePrivate
IndustryBroadcasting
Founded2011; 13 years ago (2011)
HeadquartersToronto, Ontario, Canada
Key people
Anthony Viner (Chairman)
Mark Redmond (CEO)
ProductsSatellite radio
Telematics
Internet radio
Revenue $303 million CAD (2014)[1]
OwnerSirius XM (33.0%)[2]
Slaight Communications (33.5%)[2]
John Bitove (33.5%)[2]
Websitewww.siriusxm.ca

Sirius XM Canada Holdings Inc.[2] (commonly referred to as Sirius XM Canada; normally stylized SiriusXM) is a Canadian broadcasting company which distributes the services of American satellite radio provider Sirius XM in Canada.

The current company was formed on June 21, 2011, following the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission's April 2011 approval to merge the formerly distinct XM Radio Canada and Sirius Canada services.[3][4] This followed the 2008 merger of XM Satellite Radio and Sirius Satellite Radio in the United States.

Following a subsequent privatization transaction, majority voting control was split between Slaight Communications and John Bitove, two of the primary Canadian investors of the original Sirius Canada and XM Canada services respectively. Due to Canadian broadcasting ownership regulations, the U.S. company Sirius XM Holdings is limited to a 33% voting interest in the Canadian firm, but holds 70% of the equity.[2][5]

History

Sirius Canada

Main article: Sirius Canada

Sirius Canada was a Canadian company, a partnership between Slaight Communications, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and Sirius Satellite Radio, which was one of three services licensed by the CRTC on June 16, 2005 to introduce satellite radio service to Canada. In June 2005, the CRTC awarded the company a six-year licence to commence broadcasting in Canada.[6]

XM Canada

Main article: XM Radio Canada

XM Satellite Radio Canada was the operating name of Canadian Satellite Radio Holdings Inc. (or "CSR"), a Canadian communications and media company, which was incorporated in 2002 to broadcast satellite radio in Canada. On August 19, 2003, Canadian Satellite Radio Holdings Inc., the parent company of CSR, filed its initial application to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) for a broadcast licence to provide subscription based digital radio service in Canada. In June 2005, the CRTC awarded the company a six-year licence to commence broadcasting in Canada. XM Canada started transmissions across Canada on November 22, 2005, and launched officially on December 1, 2005.

Merger

Following the 2008 merger of Sirius and XM, the two Canadian companies did not immediately announced plans to merge, and continued to compete in the Canadian marketplace. A complicating factor in any Canadian merger talks was that Sirius Canada had far more than half of the total satellite radio subscriber base in Canada, and felt they deserved greater than a 50/50 split of the new company, whereas XM Canada felt that their deal with the National Hockey League — a particularly lucrative prize in Canadian sports broadcasting — warranted a larger share of value in the new company than its subscriber base would suggest.[7]

However, in their eventual application to the CRTC, XM Canada and Sirius Canada noted that following the U.S. merger, they found it increasingly difficult to remain in operation as distinct, competing services in Canada even as the parent services increasingly integrated and amalgamated their programming.[4] In an interview with The Globe and Mail before the merger was approved, Bitove also noted the difficulties that arose from the merged American service becoming a minority shareholder in both of the Canadian companies simultaneously, such as conflicts of interest that forced the American company to leave its Canadian partners out of strategic planning discussions which would have given each company power over decisions affecting the other.[8]

On November 24, 2010, XM Radio Canada and Sirius Canada announced that they had reached a deal to merge their services.[9]

John Bitove's Canadian Satellite Radio Holdings Inc. held 30.4% and effective control of the new company. Slaight Communications and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), the primary shareholders in the former Sirius, each held 20.4%, and the American parent Sirius XM held 25%.[4] Both Bitove and Mark Redmond, the former president and CEO of Sirius Canada, hold executive roles with the new company.[10]

As of 2011, Sirius and XM in the United States offered nearly identical programming lineups, with the Canadian-produced channels being among the few remaining distinctions between the two services; eventually the Canadian channels were also harmonized between services. Premier packages became available in Canada on October 1, 2012.

2017 privatization

In 2016, Sirius XM Canada, which had had its shares publicly traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange, announced a privatization ("go-private") and recapitalization transaction whereby three of the broadcaster's largest shareholders – Slaight Communications, John Bitove's Obelysk Media, and Sirius XM U.S. – would buy out the remaining public shareholders.[11] The transaction was completed the next year, following CRTC approval, following which Sirius XM took a 70% equity interest in the Canadian firm but only 33% of voting shares, with the remainder split between Slaight and Obelysk.[5]

The CBC exited its ownership position as a result of the transaction, though CBC channels continued to be broadcast on the SiriusXM platform.[5]

2020—present

In October 2022, CBC-programmed music channels were removed from SiriusXM and replaced with Canadian music channels programmed directly by SiriusXM Canada; feeds of CBC Radio One and Ici Radio-Canada Première continue to air on SiriusXM.[12]

Services

Sirius XM Canada is the Canadian distributor of the namesake SiriusXM satellite radio and streaming platforms. Officially, Sirius Canada and XM Canada remain separate satellite radio services, though since 2012 operated under a single licence, under the authority of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC). This distinction is due to technical differences between the two platforms which may result in minor programming variations between the two services, despite the fact that most programming has been harmonized since the U.S. and Canadian mergers.[13]

As it uses the same infrastructure as SiriusXM U.S., the Canadian service cannot program a full set of channels that adheres to the same Canadian content rules as traditional radio stations. Instead, under the terms of its CRTC licence, SiriusXM Canada must offer a minimum of 10% Canadian-produced channels (i.e., at least one Canadian channel for every nine channels originating from the U.S. or elsewhere) in each of its packages, of which at least one must be an Indigenous channel, and several must be French-language channels. On these channels, at least 85% of musical selections and 85% of spoken-word content must be Canadian content. The service must also make significant ongoing financial contributions to Canadian content development.[14]

From time to time, these rules have resulted in certain American channels being unavailable on satellite radio to SiriusXM Canada subscribers. These channel restrictions do not apply to SiriusXM's streaming platforms, and (subject to program rights conflicts) all are available through the SiriusXM app, as are all of SiriusXM's "Xtra" channels.

Packaging generally mirrors that of the American service, with three tiers of channels as of August 2023, which are available in both streaming-only and cross-platform (satellite and streaming) versions. The service's Platinum plan includes a limited version of Pandora, which is not otherwise available in Canada, through SiriusXM's streaming platform.[15]

Current Canadian channels

As of March 2023, the Canadian channels produced or supplied by SiriusXM Canada, ordered by their channel numbers, are as follows.[16][17] Some channels, particularly those in the 600s and up, may only be available in the SiriusXM app, and/or on SiriusXM's 360L platform (available on select vehicles produced since 2019) which can also stream content through vehicles' cellular data modems.[18]

See also

References

  1. ^ "Sirius XM Canada Holdings Inc Reports Fiscal 2014 Results," Newswire, October 30, 2014.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Ownership Chart 214 - Sirius XM - Subscription Satellite Radio" (PDF). Canadian Radio-television Communications Commission. April 12, 2023. Retrieved July 20, 2023.
  3. ^ "Sirius Canada and XM Canada Complete Merger". Broadcaster, June 21, 2011.
  4. ^ a b c CRTC Decision 2011-240.
  5. ^ a b c Government of Canada, Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) (2017-04-26). "Sirius Canada and XM Canada – Transfer of shares". crtc.gc.ca. Retrieved 2021-06-06.
  6. ^ Government of Canada, Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) (2005-06-16). "ARCHIVED - Satellite subscription radio undertaking". crtc.gc.ca. Retrieved 2021-06-06.
  7. ^ Vlessing, Etan (July 29, 2008). "XM-Sirius merger not replicated in Canada". The Hollywood Reporter.
  8. ^ "XM, Sirius move closer to merger in Canada". The Globe and Mail, February 17, 2011.
  9. ^ "Finally, Sirius Canada and XM Canada are merging". Radio-Info.com. November 24, 2010. Archived from the original on November 27, 2010.
  10. ^ "CRTC Approves XM Canada & Sirius Canada Merger". Marketnews, April 12, 2011.
  11. ^ "Sirius XM Canada to be taken private in $351M deal led by U.S. parent". BNNBloomberg.ca. Reuters / Canadian Press. May 13, 2016. Retrieved August 6, 2023.
  12. ^ "CBC Music Channels Depart SiriusXM - RadioInsight". 2022-10-24. Retrieved 2023-03-20.
  13. ^ Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (November 16, 2012). "Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2012-629". Retrieved August 6, 2023.
  14. ^ "Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2019-431". December 19, 2019. Retrieved August 6, 2023.
  15. ^ "Get the plan that's right for you". SiriusXM.ca. Retrieved August 15, 2023.
  16. ^ "SiriusXM Channel Lineup" (PDF). SiriusXM.ca. March 16, 2023. Retrieved August 15, 2023.
  17. ^ "SiriusXM is Canada". SiriusXM.ca. Retrieved August 15, 2023.
  18. ^ Lin, Kelly (July 29, 2020). "What Is SiriusXM with 360L? A Breakdown of the New Audio Platform". MotorTrend. Retrieved August 6, 2023.