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Met Broadcasts on Sirius Satellite Radio

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The Met has struck a deal with Sirius satellite radio to create the new Met Radio Channel, which will be available in the US and Canada. The station premieres Monday night, 25 September, with a live broadcast of the Opening Night Madama Butterfly (No word on whether the live broadcasts will be repeated).

In the US, Met Radio Channel replaces Classical Voices, which I've heard very nice things about. Since the press release states

The full-time channel will feature an average of four live broadcasts each week throughout the Met’s 2006-07 performance season, with Saturday matinee performances enhanced with live interviews and dynamic intermission programs. The channel will also feature hundreds of re-mastered historic broadcasts culled from the Met’s illustrious 75-year history. Additional vocal content will complement the Metropolitan Opera broadcasts.
I'm hoping that some of the additional content will be a carryover from Classical Voices. Not every great singer performed at the Met, and for those who did, not all were recorded or recorded in their prime.

Story from CBC.ca about offering in Canada

In addition to the activation fee ($15 US/$19.99 Canada), the Sirius service costs $12.95/mo (US) or $14.99/mo (Canada), with discounts for paying in advance for a year or more, or a flat fee for the life of the receiver, which must be bought separately. (There are car-only, home-only, and home-and-car units.)

In addition, the US site has advertised an Internet-only package for $12.95/mo ($6.99 for subscribers of the radio service), with no additional equipment necessary. Sign-up is not active yet. There's not mention of Internet service on the Canada site, which doesn't have a "Listen Online" 3-day trial like the US site does. (Click "Listen Online" from the top of the main page.)

US Plan List

Canada Plan List

This is in addition to the agreement reached with Real Networks to broadcast archival performanes as part of their Rhapsody music service. I haven't seen any details, and I'm not sure if this will be part of the free service, or will require "unlimited" service at $9.99 (in US) a month.

Toll Brothers, the latest sponsor of the free Met Saturday broadcasts just took a big hit with it's forecast of lower-than-predicted earnings, and I think it's logical to wonder how long this sponsorship to last. It's yet to be seen if paid subscription services will replace free broadcasts, or, perhaps, will provide the funds to make the broadcasts self-sufficient.

The Met Opera website has been given a slick new look: lots of white space, readable, with emphasis on upcoming productions. And a spiffy counter-down on the main page with days/hours/minutes/seconds until Opening Night.

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