NEW YORK – XM Satellite Radio Holdings Inc. (XMSR) Monday said it bought the rights to broadcast National Hockey League (search) games, starting this October, in a 10-year year, $100 million deal to bolster the company against rival Sirius Satellite Radio Inc (SIRI).
In addition to the NHL, which lost the entire 2004-2005 season to a labor dispute between the players and teams, XM holds exclusive rights to Major League Baseball (search), Nascar auto racing (search) and PGA Tour golf.
XM's Canadian partner, Canadian Satellite radio, will fund a portion of the rights fees, but XM declined to be more specific.
Sirius currently has rights to NHL games through the 2006-2007. Both XM and Sirius will broadcast games in 2005- 2006 and the 2006-2007 seasons. Starting in 2007-2008, XM will have exclusive rights.
XM, which has 4.4 million subscribers, has been battling the smaller Sirius in the fledgling but growing satellite radio market. Sirius has exclusive rights to popular "shock jock" Howard Stern and the National Football League (search).