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SiriusXM to close Garth Brooks radio channel

Garth Brooks performs at the 2020 Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song concert at DAR Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C., March 4, 2020
Garth Brooks performs at the 2020 Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song concert at DAR Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C., March 4, 2020. (Photo by Shawn Miller for the Library of Congress, Graphic by The Desk)

SiriusXM Pandora will stop broadcasting a channel dedicated to the music of Garth Brooks by the end of the month.

The Garth Channel (SXM Channel 55), which has been available to SiriusXM’s satellite and streaming radio customers since 2016, was linked to an ongoing tour promotion for the country music superstar.

Brooks told the entertainment publication Billboard that the Garth Channel helped him sell “a ton of tickets” for his recent three-year arena tour, which saw more than 6 million in ticket sales around the world.

“Now the drive for what it was and what it stood for is coming to a close,” Brooks said, suggesting that the radio channel was always meant to be a promotional vehicle for his tour and music brand.

Billboard said the channel meant more to fans than just ticket sales: It served as a way for them to pay homage to his music and his career. Brooks himself was known to make regular appearances on the channel — something other artists and celebrities with SiriusXM-branded channels rarely do — offering listeners unique insight into his personal and professional lives.

SiriusXM has not said what will replace Brooks’ channel after it closes on September 30, but a spokesperson for the service said they were “incredibly grateful and proud to have collaborated with Garth to present the Garth Channel on SiriusXM.”

“We have enjoyed our creative relationship and look forward to working on future projects together,” the spokesperson said.

Other artists with branded channels on SiriusXM include the Dave Matthews Band, U2, Pearl Jam, the Grateful Dead, Jimmy Buffett, the Beatles, Drake, Pitbull and Bruce Springsteen. Occasionally, pop-up artist-specific channels have aired on either the satellite or streaming radio services, with artists like Prince, Notorious B.I.G., Coldplay and Foo Fighters bestowed with the honor.

While many of the artist-specific channels showcase deep cuts and live recordings of each artist’s own work, Brooks used his channel to curate a selection of music from across genres that appealed to him.

“The greatness was that you could hear Bruno Mars and Merle Haggard back to back, and you heard two great artists with two totally different great kinds of music, and you liked them both,” Brooks said. “So that was a sweet message to get across. I love that you heard Aretha Franklin with Adele and Tammy Wynette, and all of that worked.”

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is the publisher of The Desk and reports on the business and policy matters involving the broadcast television, streaming video and radio industries. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, Disney-ABC, Tribune Broadcasting and McNaughton Newspapers. Matthew is based in Northern California, has won numerous awards in the field of journalism, and is a member of IRE (Investigative Reporters and Editors).