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Sirius Satellite Radio was a satellite radio (SDARS) and online radio service operating in North America, owned by Sirius XM Holdings.
Headquartered in New York City, with smaller studios in Los Angeles and Memphis, Sirius was officially launched on July 1, 2002. It now provides 69 streams (channels) of music and 65 streams of sports, news, and entertainment to its subscribers. Music streams on Sirius carry a wide variety of genres, broadcasting 24 hours daily, commercial-free, and uncensored. A subset of Sirius music channels is included as part of the Dish Network satellite television service. Sirius channels are identified by Nielsen Audio with the label "SR" (e.g. "SR120", "SR9", "SR17").
Its business model is to provide pay-for-service radio, analogous to the business model for premium cable television. Music channels are presented without advertising, while its talk channels, such as Howard Stern's Howard 100 and Howard 101 & Jim Norton & Sam Roberts Faction talk 103, carry commercials. Because all channels are free from FCC content regulation, songs are played unedited for language; talk programs may also feature explicit content if they wish. Subscriptions are prepaid and range in price from US$14.99 monthly (US$9.99 for each additional receiver) to US$699.99 for lifetime (of the receiver equipment) There is a US$15 activation fee for every radio activated. Sirius announced it had achieved its first positive cash flow quarter for the period ending December 2006.Sirius launched its radio service in four states on February 14, 2002, expanding service to the rest of the contiguous U.S. by July of that year. On October 16, 2006, Sirius announced that it would be launching Sirius Internet Radio, with 78 of its 135 channels being available worldwide on the internet to any of its subscribers with a valid user name and password.
On July 29, 2008, Sirius formally completed its merger with former competitor XM Satellite Radio. The combined company began operating under the name Sirius XM Satellite Radio. On November 12, 2008, Sirius and XM began broadcasting with their new, combined channel lineups. On January 13, 2011, Sirius Satellite Radio was dissolved as a separate entity and merged into Sirius XM Radio, Inc.