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YAHOO, SAYS SIRIUS

Satellite Radio Company Secures Loan, Launches Third And Final Satellite

Lehman Brothers has OK'd a $150 million loan for Sirius Satellite Radio Inc. The cash will give the fledgling satellite radio broadcaster enough simoleans to operate through the fourth quarter of next year.

Sirius is fully funded, having raised $1.45 billion as of September, but will still have to raise about $75 million in Q4 2001. By that time, the company plans to have 200,000 customers. But then again, who doesn't?

Lehman is expected to grant the bank loan if Sirius successfully demonstrates its radio broadcast signal—which it plans to do at a conference in Las Vegas next month—and if the company can cut down the mightiest tree in the forest with a herring.

The company launched its third and final satellite into orbit on Thursday (11/30) and should complete its in-orbit testing within 45 days. Sirius is scheduled to begin broadcasting in early 2001.

Once online, Sirius will directly broadcast up to 100 channels—50 of commercial-free music and 50 of news, sports, talk, comedy and children's programming—of digital-quality radio to motorists throughout the U.S. The service will cost $9.95 a month.

Sirius currently has alliances to install three-band radios—AM/FM/SAT—in Ford, Chrysler, BMW, Mercedes, Mazda, Jaguar and Volvo vehicles, as well as Freightliner and Sterling heavy trucks. Manufacturers are already working on not only the satellite-enabled radios but also adapters to allow radios in existing vehicles to receive Sirius broadcasts.

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