Sirius CEO Mel Karmazin has announced that the satcaster is lowering its year-end subscription forecast. Just last month the company predicted it would wind up 2006 with up to 6.3 million subscribers. On the heels of lower-than-expected sales thus far in the holiday shopping season, Sirius is now expected to end the year with between 5.9 and 6.1 million subscribers.
In a statement, Karmazin said, "Last year with Howard Stern's move to Sirius rapidly approaching, we added 500,000 subscribers in the last ten days of the year, representing nearly 25 percent of the year's net additions and clearly demonstrating the dramatic pace of holiday sales. While strong, this year's retail sales results since the Thanksgiving weekend have not been at the pace we had anticipated. We are updating our year-end 2006 subscriber guidance to between 5.9 million and 6.1 million. At the lower end of our range we will still add almost 20 percent more subscribers in 2006 than we did in 2005, a record year for Sirius. We have consistently focused on disciplined growth and continue that focus as we look to generate positive free cash flow this quarter."
The guidance range represents total net subscriber additions of approximately 2.6 million to 2.8 million in 2006, or year-over-year subscriber growth of approximately 80-85 percent.