Sirius Satellite Radio Inc. broke the 3 million-subscriber milestone Dec. 27 as fans of shock jock Howard Stern were apparently buying service early in anticipation of his move to the subscription-only service.
Sirius said in a brief statement Dec. 27 that it had surpassed the 3 million subscriber mark and that it expected a strong year-end. Stern is expected to start his program on the service in January.
Sirius finished the third quarter ended Sept. 30 with about 2.2 million subscribers, but had said it was confident it could reach 3 million subscribers milestone by the end of the year. Although it reached that mark about a week ahead of time, it is still below the 5 million subscribers XM Satellite Radio Holdings Inc. had at the end of the third quarter. XM has said it expects to end the year with 6 million customers.
Sirius stock rose 16 cents each to $6.99 on Dec. 27 after the news was announced, but fell back in afternoon trading Dec. 28 to $6.85 per share.