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Van Zandt was the first major musician recruited by Sirius or XM to create branded music channels, and he has created two distinct stations for Sirius: the Underground Garage, dedicated to garage rock, and Outlaw Country with its focus on alternative country music.

A subset of Sirius music channels is included as part of the Dish Network satellite television service.

Sirius channels are identified by Nielsen Audio with the label "SR" (e.g. Its business model is to provide pay-for-service radio, analogous to the business model for premium cable television.

Six months later, in November 1992, Rogers Wireless co-founder David Margolese, who had provided financial backing for the venture, acquired control of the company and succeeded Briskman.

Margolese renamed the company CD Radio, and spent the next five years lobbying the FCC to allow satellite radio to be deployed, and the following five years raising $1.6 billion, which was used to build and launch three satellites into elliptical orbit from Kazakhstan in July 2000.

Conditions of the merger included allowing any third-party company to make satellite radio devices; producing new radios that can receive both XM and Sirius channels within one year; allowing consumers to choose which channels they would like to have; freezing subscription rates for three years; setting aside 8% of its channels for noncommercial programmers; and paying $19.7 million in fines for past rule violations.