Sirius XM confirms Howard Stern contract renewal


Sirius XM let Howard Stern make the initial announcement on his radio show Thursday morning. Then the company issued its official announcement that the self-proclaimed “King of All Media” would stay with the company for five more years.

The only new revelation is that the new contract will include the right for Sirius XM to distribute Howard Stern’s content to mobile devices. Here is the company press release:

“Howard Stern and SIRIUS XM Radio (NASDAQ: SIRI) today announced a new five-year agreement.  The news was first reported by Howard during his show this morning.

‘On my first day in satellite radio SIRIUS had approximately 600,000 subscribers. Today, the two companies have 20 million; and, in my view, we have just scratched the surface of how many people will get on board,’ said Howard Stern.  ‘I am especially excited that my show will now be heard through SIRIUS XM on mobile devices.  Access to my show on mobile devices will open up additional opportunities for my fans to hear me wherever they are.’

‘Howard is a great talent and we are thrilled that he will continue to provoke, engage and entertain on SIRIUS XM.  Our agreement is good news on all fronts – it is good for SIRIUS XM subscribers and good for SIRIUS XM stockholders.  Howard forever changed radio and was instrumental in putting SIRIUS on the map when he first launched on satellite radio.  He is one of the few ‘one-name’ entertainers in the country and our 20 million subscribers are lucky to have him,’ said Mel Karmazin, Chief Executive Officer, SIRIUS XM. 

The world-renowned Stern is credited with revolutionizing the talk radio format.  Known for his large and extremely loyal fan base and for his unequalled ability to migrate fans to other media, Stern has embarked on numerous highly successful ventures over the years. Stern has written two best-selling books – Private Parts, which was Simon & Schuster’s fastest-selling book ever, and Miss America, the fastest-selling book in publishing history.  He later starred in the highly successful motion picture adaptation of Private Parts, orchestrated one of the fastest-selling soundtracks in motion picture history and has starred in one of the most watched entertainment pay-per-view special of all time.

Howard’s new contract will run through December 31, 2015.   Under the terms of the new contract, SIRIUS XM will now have the right to transmit Howard’s exclusive programming to mobile devices.  Additional terms of the contract will not be disclosed.”

RBR-TVBR observation: How much of a pay-cut did Stern accept from his previous $100 million per year (plus bonuses)? Enough that his contract is no longer considered a “material event” that Sirius XM has to disclose in an SEC filing. But there are no firm guidelines on what constitutes a material event. Also, the money flow in and out of Sirius XM today is much greater than at Sirius alone when the original Stern contract was signed over five years ago.

In a live phone interview on WNYW-TV (Fox) New York’s “Good Day New York” Stern was asked to spill the beans about his new contract. “I signed for $100 billion. I now own Rupert Murdoch,” he said.

Some analysts have begun speculating that the new contract is likely worth $60 million to $80 million annually, but that’s all speculation.