Citi says that with FCC Chairman Kevin Martin now on board, there’s a 90% chance that the long-awaited merger between Sirius and XM will finally go through.
Martin represented the key “swing vote” on a five member panel that consists of two Democrats and two Republicans. XMSR-SIRI would be asked to make several concessions in order for the deal to go through, including donating 8% of combined spectrum to public safety and noncommercial programming. Citi thinks that given the fact that said concession would only result in a 0.3% drop in listener base, both parties will be eager to get the deal done:
In our view, 8% represents a far more palatable request and one that is more amendable to both companies. We looked at Arbitron data and found that the lowest performing stations (the
bottom 12 for each company) represent only 0.3% of the combined listener base, which gives us increased confidence the concessions will be accepted.