Sirius XM signs new five-year deal with Howard Stern
LOS ANGELES – Satellite radio company Sirius XM Holdings Inc and “shock jock” Howard Stern have renewed their five-year deal for his popular “Howard Stern Show,” ending the uncertainty around the fate of the decade-long association.
The news comes after years of Sirius, majority owned by billionaire John Malone, and Stern locking horns over compensation, with the celebrity radio jockey even suing the company.
Sirius did not disclose the financial terms of the deal, under which Stern will continue to produce and host the show.
Sirius has also signed a 12-year deal with Stern’s production company to enter video programming. Sirius will get access to Stern’s audio and video library spanning his over 30-year broadcasting career.
Stern was also a judge on NBC’s television reality show “America’s Got Talent” from 2012 to 2015.
The deal is expected to help Sirius attract new subscribers and retain existing ones, the company’s spokesman Patrick Reilly said.
The deal could be a step up from $500 million, Macquarie Research analyst Amy Yong said, referring to the amount Sirius had agreed to pay Stern when he began airing the show on its satellite radio in 2006 after decades of being on traditional radio.
Stern renewed his contract for another five years in 2010 for a reported $400 million, but sued Sirius for $330 million within months, alleging that the company had refused to pay him promised stock awards.
However, a New York state appeals court threw out Stern’s lawsuit in 2012, declining to revive it in 2013, saying that his original deal with Sirius was “unambiguous.”
New York-based Sirius had about 29 million subscribers at the end of September.
“The Howard Stern Show” will continue to be broadcast live exclusively on Sirius’s Howard 100 channel and will be available for streaming online and on the Sirius XM app. Sirius shares rose as much as 4 percent to $4.17 on Tuesday. The stock was the most traded on the Nasdaq, with nearly 44 million shares traded as of 1:38pm ET. -Reuters