Thursday, February 4, 2010

Sirius At The Super Bowl

The Who are appearing at the halftime show of the Super Bowl. The Who are also getting their own channel on Sirius. The channel is only scheduled to run for a week."Starting at 3 p.m. ET on February 4, Sirius XM Radio will offer a limited time, five-day programming block dedicated to rock legends The Who. Running through 11:59 p.m. on February 8, channel 16 on XM Radio and channel 40 on Sirius Radio will be strictly devoted to commercial-free content chronicling the group's 40 plus years on the musical scene, featuring such singles as "My Generation," "The Kids Are Alright," "Pinball Wizard," "I Can See for Miles," "Won't Get Fooled Again," "Who Are You" and many more. Recent album releases by the group will also be thrown into the mix, including content from the compilation "The Who Greatest Hits," and "The Who Greatest Hits Live," a collection of previously unreleased and newly mixed concert recordings from throughout the band's career."

Lots of stock speculation around Sirius. Analysts are betting the stock should hit a buck and investors have been buying and selling options to take advantage of the rumors. Even Liberty, who owns a large percentage of Sirius debt is seeing its shares bump up due to the positive news coming out of Sirius. It certainly is fun to watch!

Comcast Rebrands To Xfinity

Following in the steps of Cablevision who successfully rebranded its triple play services as Optimum a number of years ago, Comcast is stealing a page from their playbook. It's new name for its triple play of services is Xfinity. The new name seems an attempt to move people away from Comcast as a cable company and toward a more robust technological distributor. "Starting next week, Comcast will begin rolling out the new Xfinity brand -- Xfinity TV, Xfinity Internet and Xfinity Voice -- to customers in 11 markets: Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington, D.C., Chicago, Portland Ore., Seattle, Hartford, Conn., Augusta, Ga., Chattanooga, Tenn. and parts of the San Francisco Bay area."

For Cablevision, the Optimum brand change was deemed successful. Some consumers actually thought they were a different cable company. And the new brand name could push new benefits and new value. For Comcast, the Xfinity name is attempting to do the same thing. Coming up with a new brand name is an arduous and difficult process. Many scoff at any name change and ask why change. When NYNEX became Verizon many years ago, many wondered what exactly a Verizon was. They successfully turned Verizon into a very powerful positive brand experience.

Comcast, and now Xfinity, face a similar challenge. Is Xfinity a great name. Who can say. What Comcast does to back up its new name with better technological products, better service, and better value is what matters most. If nothing changes, then Xfinity will simply be seen as a repainted pig and not a new brand. So change the name but also change the service. A better set top experience, a better on-demand and DVR experience. Yes put Tivo in every box. A better mobile experience. Yes, put Slingbox in every box. Back up the new claims and a new brand name can be very successful.