Sirius Radio Scores NCAA Men’s Hoops

NEW YORK In another attempt to draw new subscribers with premium content, Sirius Satellite Radio said it has inked a multi-year agreement to broadcast every game of the 2005, 2006 and 2007 NCAA Division 1 Men’s Basketball Championships.

The NCAA play-by-play coverage begins with the opening game on March 15 and concludes with the championship game on April 4 from the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis. Financial details were not disclosed.

“There is no more exciting sporting event in college sports than NCAA March Madness, and this deal will allow college hoops fans everywhere to follow their team,” said Scott Greenstein, president of entertainment and sports for Sirius, in announcing the agreement.

Both Sirius and its sole competitor, XM Satellite Radio, have made big plays to carry premium sports programming. Late last year, Sirius signed a seven-year, $220 million deal with the National Football League to broadcast all NFL games live on Sirius. The New York-based subscription radio service also signed a deal in September with College Sports Television to air top-ranked college football and basketball games from 23 universities.

XM signed an 11-year, $650 million pact with Major League Baseball in October and a deal in July to broadcast Atlantic Coast Conference and Pacific 10 collegiate football and men’s and women’s basketball games.

Sirius, which also signed Howard Stern for a whopping $500 million beginning in 2006, has 800,000 subscribers. XM has 2.5 million subscribers.

Westwood One holds the national radio broadcast rights to all 88 NCAA championships, including the Division 1 Men’s Basketball Championships.