Even with their merger pending, there is still a bit of competition between XM and Sirius. XM has now pushed Sirius out of the pro hockey arena, becoming the "exclusive satellite radio home of the NHL." We see the deal as having the most impact in Canada, where XM's affiliate has trailed its Sirius rival in attracting subscribers.
To that end, the announcement from XM did not quote any of its US executives, but rather its partner from north of the border. "We are excited with this new partnership, and as the only satellite radio provider to air NHL games, XM will continue to be the premier destination for hockey fans across Canada," said John Bitove, Chairman and CEO of XM Canada.
The 2007-08 NHL season will mark XM's third season of NHL coverage, but it will no longer have to share the league schedule with Sirius. XM and the NHL have a long-term broadcast partnership, through 2015. As the exclusive satellite radio partner of the NHL, XM is officially rebranding the Home Ice channel to NHL Home Ice.