Sirius, Chrysler Team for TV

NEW YORK Sirius Satellite Radio is getting into the satellite TV business. In an industry first, Chrysler will be the initial auto manufacturer to offer Sirius Backseat TV in select 2008 model-year vehicles.

Backseat TV will deliver three family-friendly channels of programming from Nickelodeon, Disney Channel and Cartoon Network. Some of the shows available include Nickelodeon’s SpongeBob SquarePants, Disney’s Hannah Montana and Cartoon Net’s Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends.

The service, demonstrated Thursday in New York’s Times Square, will be available beginning with the new 2008 Chrysler Town & Country and Dodge Grand Caravan minivans, later this year, for a suggested retail price of $470. The cost includes the first year of service when packaged with Chrysler Group’s rear seat entertainment system and Sirius Satellite Radio. After the first year, Backseat TV is available for $7 per month, in addition to $12.95 for the subscription radio service.

“In Sirius’ first venture in visual entertainment, I am pleased to have the three most original family-centered programming providers in TV. Just as we provide the best radio on radio, this allows us to launch Sirius Backseat TV as the Best TV in the Backseat,” said Mel Karmazin, CEO of Sirius, who has talked about developing a TV service for a couple of years.

In February, Sirius and its sole competitor, XM Satellite Radio, proposed to merge in a transaction valued at $13 billion.