Satellite convergence: Sirius joins Dish TV network

Echostar’s Dish satellite-to-home television service is making a major convergence play. It has added the Sirius Satellite Radio service to its content line-up at no extra cost to home TV subscribers.

Dish customers now have access to 61 Sirius commercial-free digital radio channels. Without prior announcement from either company, the program line-up recently appeared on the Dish channel lineup.

Revealed in a report by CNet, the combined TV-audio relationship could provide a significant boost to Sirius, which — like rival service XM Satellite Radio — has occasionally found it a difficult task to persuade consumers to spend $150 or more on new satellite receiver hardware for their automobiles, and then pay the monthly $12.95 for the radio subscription.

To date, Sirius has attracted about 400,000 subscribers. The Dish Network, which is owned by EchoStar Communications, has about 9.7 million. Roughly 85 percent of those customers will now have access to the Sirius music channels without paying any additional fee.

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