XM, Starbucks Splitting Up. Oprah, Lance, Tony Hawk Next?

Starbucks and XM Satellite are breaking up, PaidContent reports. XM will pay $22 million in stock to end the deal, which gave XM a Starbucks-branded channel and gave Starbucks its own instore radio programming.

It’s a blip for both companies, but a good reminder of one of the upsides of a Sirius/XMSR merger — an end to the frenzy of deals to lock up brand names in an effort to differentiate the two services. The most famous, of course, was Sirius’ (SIRI) mega-deal with Howard Stern. But a few years ago both outfits were chasing after any celebrity they could, some of which made sense at first glance for a radio outfit (Oprah Winfrey, Eminem) and a lot that didn’t (Lance Armstrong, Tony Hawk). In most cases they offered cash, stock or both.

Can you think of any case, sans Stern, where they got their money worth? We don’t listen to subscribe to either service, so we’d be curious to hear from SAI readers. Did you sign up with Sirius in order to listen to Lance? XM for Oprah? Let us know in comments below.

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