XM Satellite Launches Service
By David Dritsas
Satellite radio is now for real. At a press event last week, XM Satellite Radio began a national rollout of its broadcast. The company was ready to go with its promised 100 channels of digital radio in music, talk, and news programming formats. The company expects its service to be nationally available by the end of the year.
Broadcasting began in the urban markets of Dallas, Texas and San Diego, Calif. after an official launch ceremony at the company's headquarters in Washington D.C. Within the next three weeks the coverage will expand to the entire southwestern and southeastern regions of the U.S. including major markets such as Los Angeles, Houston, Atlanta and Miami. In November the service will begin its expansion into the Northern markets. Currently XM has been able to sign up 400 subscribers, but is optimistically estimating that it will have 4 million by 2004.