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Monday, February 09, 2009
Sirius/XM May Drop MLB (And NFL)
Via Bleed Cubbie Blue:
Facing a $925 million debt repayment schedule this year, the satellite radio operator is assessing just how valuable big-ticket sports contracts are to the company. A $43 million payment to the NFL comes due in ten days, while Major League Baseball is set to get a $60 million payment next month. The Wall Street Journal says the MLB funds are in an escrow account, but Sirius XM has been pushing the league to allow it to use the money for other uses — such as the looming $175 million debt payment due February 17. Sirius XM Radio has two years left on its seven-year, $220 million deal NFL contract. MLB has six years left on its 11-year $650 million deal. Meanwhile, the Journal reports EchoStar CEO Charles Ergen has been quietly buying up Sirius XM debt in a move that could be a precursor to a hostile takeover rolling the satellite radio company into his Dish Network satellite TV service.