Remember the days when we thought paying for our TV service was ridiculous? “Cable TV!”, our mothers would exclaim, “Who has money to pay for their TV shows? It is been free all these years; I don’t know why I would start paying for it now. ”
But that was then and this is now. And so today we pay for cable or satellite and consider it a necessity in our lives, not a luxury. Sure, we could stick with “free” TV, but the reception would be bad, we’d only have 4-6 channels to choose from and there would be no CNN, no Food Network, and no ESPN. What would we do with ourselves?
So it seems a little reminder of those days when we hear people scoffing at the notion of paying for radio. “I’ve gotten it free all these years,” you hear people exclaim. “Why would I pay for radio?”
Although satellite radio services have been around for a few years, its notoriety was spun into high gear when Howard Stern publicly made the jump from “free” radio to a satellite service in early 2006. Now, everyone’s curious and many people are considering paying a bill every month for the privilege of listening to the radio.
Just like cable TV, there are many proprietary shows on satellite radio you just won’t hear if you don’t have a subscription. So you have to pony up to the extra bill bar…but what do you get for your extra dough?
Lots. Talk shows, music shows, entertainment, sports.
Some of the most talked about XM Satellite Radio shows are not music shows but talk shows. There are really more than a dozen to choose from.
Consider Air America Radio (on channel 167), which features chatter from such well-known mouths as those belonging to Al Franken, Jerry Springer and actress Janeane Garofalo. Largely a progressive station, this dial also features veteran radio host Mark Riley and commentator Alan Colmes.
For the right slant on things, take a listen to America Right (on channel 166). This program features shows from such luminary conservatives as G. Gordon Liddy, Peter Greenburg, Dr. Laura and Michael Medved.
If politics aren’t your bag, how about entertainment or humor? On XM Radio channel 162, you’ll find the E! channel. Yes, this is the same E! we pay for on cable and the format is generally the same. There’s the E! True Hollywood Story, E! news and celebrity profiles. Now you can get all your E! gossip and news while drinking Starbucks on your way to work. My, how the world has changed.
If you’re into sports, XM Radio delivers. There’s the Sporting News channel, the Nascar channel, the ESPN channel, and a wide variety of channels dedicated to various sports like baseball, football and even hockey. Though many channels feature talk and sports opinion, one of the big selling points for many sports fans is the live streaming games. In this case, you truly can take it with you.
Got kids in the car? Tune into Radio Disney or XM Kids, the winner of several parents’ choice awards.
Amid all this talk, there is music on XM Radio. Lots and lots of music. There are alternate option music channels, top 40 channels, channels for 60s music, 70s music, 80s music and 90s music. Interested in music from Sweden and Ireland? Check out channel 29, or U-Pop, dedicated to hits from around the world. Needs some romance in your life? Turn your dial to The Heart (XM channel 23), where you can enjoy Whitney Houston, Michael Bolton, Celine Dion and the like.