Discover more from SeriousXM
TBT #02: XM Satellite Radio from 2004. (Part 2)
This week is part 2 of the lineup we saw from last week, one from 18 years ago.
Thursday, June 16th, 2022
Welcome back to the SeriousXM newsletter! Today, its part 2 of last week’s Throwback Thursday in which we’ll take a look at the second half of the XM Satellite Radio lineup from 2004. Its one of the earliest lineups I have found anywhere.
Again, if you find an old lineup yourself, send it to me! The email is firstname.lastname@example.org. I have received an old lineup from 2010 and I will showcase it in a future edition of the newsletter.
The second half of the newsletter consists of breaking down each category from Latin onwards.
This is the one category that both Sirius and XM have seriously degraded over the years to the point where there are only three channels available from this category on traditional plans.
Let’s take a look at what’s happened to the four channels here from 2004.
Alegria was on Channel 90. The channel is no longer on the air and its music has since moved over to Caliente.
Aguila was on Channel 92. This channel is still on the air, but it has moved to its streaming-only plans on Channel 761.
Caliente was on Channel 94. Its not only still on today, but its also the ONLY Latin channel that’s still on its traditional plans on Channel 151.
Luna was on Channel 95. It too is also still on the air but, sounding like a broken record, it too has since moved to its streaming-only plans on Channel 766.
Final note, they have actually since added more channels devoted to this category, but it is only available on its streaming-only plans, meaning that if you only subscribe via the car radio, you’ll only get Caliente for music plus two others in the MORE category. That’s it.
This category no longer exists on any SiriusXM lineups. Not a total surprise since world music is not that popular here in the states. However, at least one channel still remains out of the three.
World Zone was on Channel 100 and Ngoma was on Channel 102. Both of these channels were owned by 1worldspace. However, thanks to its bankruptcy protection filing in October 2008, which lead to the company ceasing operations, both of these channels were removed and have not been replaced. More than likely, they’ll never be replaced.
However, there’s one channel that still exists today: The Joint. Previously on Channel 101, it still exists today, but now on its streaming-only plans on Channel 722.
Final note, there’s been no new attempt to offer any new world music channels on the SiriusXM service since then. This category is all to have been forgotten.
Unlike the last category, this one still exists today. However, it has since been merged into the Jazz/Standards/Classical category.
XM Classics was on Channel 110. It has since been replaced with Symphony Hall on Channel 76.
VOX was on Channel 112. It has since been replaced with Metropolitan Opera Radio, which covers the same format as VOX, but is on Channel 355 now.
XM Pops was on Channel 113. Thanks to the merger, its now known as SiriusXM Pops and is now streaming-only on Channel 745.
Final note, its one of the smallest sub-categories today within the merged category and one of the smallest overall. At least all three channels are still on the air, a rarity.
Another small category on the lineup. Two back then, there are two today but its different too. Also, the category is now known as Family.
Radio Disney was on Channel 115. The longtime kids-focused radio network actually signed off for good last year and its replacement on SiriusXM is now Disney Hits on Channel 302, within the pop category. The only difference now today is that Disney Hits carries music from Disney’s productions compared to the general tween-focused music format that Radio Disney had.
XM Kids was on Channel 116. It has since been replaced by Kids Place LIVE on Channel 78.
Final note, they’ve since added a channel focused on the music from the KidzBop franchise, you know that franchise where kids sing the hit songs. KidzBop Radio is on Channel 79.
Now, we’re getting to the good categories from here on out. Let’s begin with News. SiriusXM still has the majority of these channels today and has been virtually unchanged in formats from the very beginning, which are mainly simulcasts of national cable channels. However, there have been some who’ve left the service so let’s go through it one by one.
FOX News was on Channel 121. Its now on Channel 114.
CNN was on Channel 122. Its now on Channel 116.
CNN Headline News was on Channel 123. Today, its now known as HLN but its format has changed to mainly include Forensic Files at night and just news only in the morning. Its now on Channel 117.
ABC News and Talk were on Channel 124. This is one of those channels that actually no longer exist and no replacement was made for it. Would SiriusXM carry a simulcast of ABC News LIVE in the future and the same for CBS News and NBC News NOW? It would make sense considering they’re now popular. Only time will tell.
The Weather Channel was on Channel 125. Its no longer on the air as a result of the merger and no weather service has been offered on satellite radio ever since, which makes sense since weather broadcasting mainly involves looking at maps. However, TWC still has an over-the-air radio network, just that its not available on SiriusXM. The only other weather radio network to exist today (outside of NOAA Weather Radio) is AccuWeather’s own radio network for affiliates, but its not a 24/7 programmed network like TWC’s so a good chance that we won’t see a weather service back on satellite radio anytime soon.
CNBC was on Channel 125. Its now on Channel 112.
Bloomberg Radio was on Channel 127. Also, back in the day, it was one of XM’s two ONLY part-time channels as it would air on weekdays from 5:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m. Its now on Channel 119, running 24/7.
MSNBC was on Channel 130. Its now on Channel 118.
BBC World Service was on Channel 131. Its now on Channel 120.
C-SPAN Radio was on Channel 132. This was the biggest move of all as its now on Channel 455, though still on traditional satellite radio plans.
XM Public Radio was on Channel 133. The channel has since been split apart into five different services throughout the years, including two National Public Radio (NPR) channels, a channel for Public Radio International (PRI; PRI itself is now defunct since it has now merged with PRX), a channel for the Public Radio Exchange (PRX), and a channel for the World Radio Network (WRN). Today, the spirit of the channel now exists on NPR Channel 122 and PRX Channel 123.
CNN en Espanol was on Channel 134. Today, its now streaming-only on Channel 795.
Final note, new services have shown up including FOX Business, CNN Originals, CNN International, and FOX News Headlines - 24/7 among others. It has expanded over the years and I wouldn’t be surprised if it does so in the future, though it is careful about which sources to choose to add to its lineup, which makes sense considering the world we live in now these days.
Okay. This is where we get to the good stuff where the majority of listeners are at, Sports, mainly because its still popular today. It has seriously expanded thanks to the merger, but let’s see what XM offered for sports back in 2004.
ESPN Radio was on Channel 140. Today, its the first channel stop in the category on Channel 80.
ESPNews was on Channel 141. It no longer has a 24/7 sports news format so its replacement today is ESPN Xtra on Channel 81.
FOX Sports Radio was on Channel 142. Today, its now on Channel 83.
Sporting News Radio was on Channel 143. This channel existed until 2006 when it was replaced with XM's in-house sports channel XM Sports Nation, which later became SiriusXM College Sports Nation which is now today ESPNU Radio on Channel 84.
NASCAR was on Channel 144. Today, its now known as SiriusXM NASCAR Radio and is on Channel 90.
NASCAR 2 was on Channel 145 and provided in-racing audio. However, it only existed for one season so it was quietly discontinued quickly. It hasn’t returned since.
College Basketball/Football play-by-play was on Channels 180-188. The channels are now moved to 190-200 and since expanded to include two other Power Five conferences.
ACC Play-by-Play was from 180-182. It has gone down by one and moved to 193 and 194.
PAC-10 Play-by-Play was from 183-185. It has gone down by one and moved to 197 and 198. Also, it has been renamed the PAC-12.
BIG Ten Play-by-Play was from 186-188. It has also gone down by one and moved to 195 and 196.
Since then, the BIG 12 was added on 199 and 200. The SEC was also added and has the most with three channels at 190, 191, and 192.
It has also added 24/7 conference-only talk and play-by-play channels from Channels 371-375.
372: BIG Ten
375: BIG 12
This category has seriously expanded since then as well, but back in 2004, there were only three channels available.
XM Comedy was on Channel 150. Today’s incarnation is Raw Dog Comedy which is on Channel 99. Its still an XL channel.
Laugh USA was on Channel 151. Its now on 98 and remains the ONLY non-XL channel in the category today.
Extreme XM was on Channel 152. Over its history, it began on 152, then on 165, and months before it went away from the service, it was on 243. It later eventually became Extreme Talk and then migrated over to iHeartRadio and its app for the final two years of its existence before finally being pulled off the plug for good in 2015. In terms of its SiriusXM replacement, there was none.
Final note, more Comedy channels have been added since then, including two from Netflix and Comedy Central. The total is now up to eight.
Talk and Entertainment
This is an interesting category for sure because there are a lot of defunct channels and channels that now belong in different categories. Looking at it now, this category was really all over the place, and what 18 years make a difference. There’s still an Entertainment category but some of the talking stuff is now under the Politics/Issues category. Let’s break this category down carefully.
MTV Radio was on Channel 155 and VH1 Radio was on Channel 156. They were audio simulcasts of MTV and VH1 and had music and its shows. It was on 25 and 26, then moved to 155 and 156 before going away entirely in 2005 with no replacements.
Discovery Channel Radio was on Channel 161. This was an interesting channel because it was XM’s one of ONLY two part-time channels. Originally 24/7, it was later reduced to only air on weeknights from 6:00 p.m.-5:00 a.m. and all day on weekends. It was also removed in 2005 and no replacement for it since then.
E! Radio was on Channel 162. Celebrity news and gossip were on here but it was gone in 2008 as a result of the merger and it wasn’t replaced, though a lot of the celebrity talk can still be hard via two different channels: Radio Andy on Channel 102 and SiriusXM Stars on Channel 109, both of them, by the way, is XL channels.
Sonic Theater was on Channel 163. This was all about books and drama but, after looking from research, there doesn’t seem to be any information about it. What we do know is that it was signed off years ago and nothing has replaced it since then.
Radio Classics was on Channel 164. Delivering classic radio shows, it actually is still on the air today, but is now on Channel 148 as part of the Entertainment category.
Ask! was on Channel 165. This was all about asking questions and receiving answers and advice from experts. Again, not much information from research has been found about it. But again, its off-the-air, and nothing replaced it since then.
America Right was on Channel 166. Home to conservative talk, today, the channel is now known as SiriusXM Patriot on Channel 125 as part of the Politics/Issues category.
America Left was on Channel 167. Home to progressive talk, today, the channel is now known as SiriusXM Progress on Channel 127 and is also a part of the Politics/Issues category.
The Power was on Channel 169. This is African-American-targeted talk and today, the channel is now known as SiriusXM Urban View on Channel 126. This is in the Politics/Issues category as well.
FamilyTalk was on Channel 170. Home to Christian talk, its now in the Religion category and can be found on Channel 131.
Open Road was on Channel 171. Today, its now known as Road Dog Trucking Radio, and is still the only 24-hour channel devoted to the trucking industry. You can listen to it on Channel 146 within the Entertainment category.
XM Instant Traffic and Weather
The one category that would make anyone curious to subscribe to Sirius or to XM back in the day: Traffic and Weather Together. 20+ channels devoted to traffic and weather reports from Traffic Pulse and The Weather Channel for multiple cities across America. Covering 21 different markets, it used to be on Channels 210-230 plus XM Emergency Alert on Channel 247.
While the service is still offered today, it has seriously gone downhill to now just four channels covering eight markets and two of those channels cover New York and Los Angeles. The other two are merged markets. But let’s take a look at what this particular product offered in 2004. The promise back then was to offer Continuous, in-depth reports, 24 hours a day.
Channel 210 was Boston. Its now merged with Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. on Channel 134.
Channel 211 was New York City. Its now on Channel 133.
Channel 212 was Philadelphia. Now merged with Boston and D.C.
Channel 213 was Baltimore. Its no longer served.
Channel 214 was Washington, D.C. Now merged with Boston and Philadelphia.
Channel 215 was Pittsburgh. Its no longer served.
Channel 216 was Detroit/Ann Arbor. Its now merged with Chicago and Dallas-Fort Worth on Channel 135.
Channel 217 was Chicago. Now merged with Detroit and Dallas-Fort Worth.
Channel 218 was St. Louis. Its no longer served.
Channel 219 was Minneapolis/St. Paul. Its no longer served.
Channel 220 was Seattle/Tacoma/Everett. Its no longer served.
Channel 221 was San Francisco/Oakland/San Jose. Its no longer served.
Channel 222 was Los Angeles. Its now on Channel 136.
Channel 223 was San Diego. Its no longer served.
Channel 224 was Phoenix/Mesa. Its no longer served.
Channel 225 was Dallas/Fort Worth. Now merged with Chicago and Detroit.
Channel 226 was Houston. Its no longer served.
Channel 227 was Atlanta. Its no longer served.
Channel 228 was Tampa/St. Petersburg. Its no longer served.
Channel 229 was Orlando. Its no longer served.
Channel 230 was Miami/Fort Lauderdale. Its no longer served.
Channel 247 was XM Emergency Alert. This provided critical updated information during natural disasters, weather emergencies, and other incidents plus AMBER Alerts. It later became known as SiriusXM Weather and Emergency after the merger, but the channel became discontinued in 2010.
Final note, these are the only such channels that are not available on any of SiriusXM’s streaming-only plans. You need a traditional car radio to experience the four Traffic and Weather channels (covering eight markets) that still exist today, but that is a far cry from the 21 (channels and markets) that XM had back in 2004.
Special Events + Premium
Here are the final two categories and I’m merging them both to end it all. These were the special channels that had a good amount of promotion across the service. None of these channels actually exist today.
XM LIVE was on Channel 200. This was the home to the most special events in news, sports, and entertainment that XM Satellite Radio could carry. Musical events, concerts, sporting events, weekly talk shows, holidays, and other special occasions would be broadcast on this channel. XMX (XM Exclusives) was another similar channel on Channel 2 but featured mainly the best of XM’s music programming.
What replaced it today is somewhat, but not all the way, complicated:
Today, there are 12 SiriusXM Limited Edition channels that are home to limited runs, but those are mainly streaming-only from Channels 501-512.
For traditional car radios, SiriusXM uses Channel 104 and 105 for these limited runs and is home to special events, concerts, and more. SiriusXM will also take over several already established music channels for limited artist-run channels and special events.
High Voltage was on Channel 202. For an additional $1.99/month, it was home to the morning show Opie and Anthony which was a major staple of the early XM and SiriusXM days. It has since been changed plenty of times over the years and is now out of the Premium category and moved to the Entertainment category as Faction Talk on Channel 103. However, just like the former, the latter keeps the channel at an XL rating.
Playboy Radio was on Channel 205. For an additional $2.99/month, this was the only Adult-language channel on the XM service at that time where you talk about sex and porn. I mean, let us be honest here about what it carried… programs about sex and porn. Anyway, it was originally deleted from XM in 2005 due to low subscription turnout, but then it came back on Sirius Satellite Radio in 2006 without an additional fee, but subscribers had to opt-in because, you know, children. You definitely didn’t want them tuning in, that’s for sure.
After the merger, it came back to XM in 2008 as part of The Best of Sirius package before it finally went away from satellite radio in 2013. Playboy Radio itself actually continued online before it finally went away for good in 2017.
So, that’s it. There you go. That concludes the 2-part look back at the XM Satellite Radio lineup from 2004. There will be many more Throwbacks in the weeks and months ahead, including old lineups and old videos and sounders too!
As previously mentioned, I have received via email an old lineup from 2010 and that will be featured in the future. But I’m also hoping to gain any old video or audio that can be showcased in this newsletter. If you do have it, email them to me at email@example.com plus any questions, comments, suggestions, or news tips you may have.
Thanks so very much for your support! Tomorrow is the news portion of the newsletter and I’ll talk to y’all then.