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SiriusXM launches medical advice channel focused on coronavirus

(Image: SiriusXM/Handout, Graphic: The Desk)

Satellite and streaming radio company SiriusXM has launched a commercial-free, 24-hour medical advice channel dedicated to answering listener questions about the coronavirus outbreak.

The channel, launched on Friday, combines SiriusXM and medical professionals at New York University’s Langone Health.

SiriusXM is offering the channel to subscribers and non-subscribers alike, including those with inactive radios or those who have never purchased the service before.

Current and former subscribers can tune to Channel 121 to hear the live stream, while those who have never had the service can stream it online for free.

“Listeners can tune in to Channel 121 at any time for continuous programming highlights from Doctor Radio’s ongoing coronavirus coverage,” the company said in a statement. “Presented by NYU Langone’s team of world-class infectious disease and medical authorities, SiriusXM’s Doctor Radio is on the cutting edge of educating and informing the public on the very latest about the coronavirus and what you need to know right now.”

Listeners can record a question by calling 1-877-402-6843 (1-877-40-COVID), and select listener questions will be read and answered during live broadcasts.

SiriusXM says it is also creating daily podcasts for its Pandora on-demand music service. The shows are being distributed to other podcast platforms as well.

Coronavirus-themed medical advice shows are also being produced for SiriusXM’s Doctor Radio (Channel 110).

SiriusXM is one of several media companies to lift the pay gates on its service in an attempt to provide information on the coronavirus as a public service.

Late last month, the Sacramento Bee newspaper lifted its metered paywall on its reporting about the coronavirus after a woman in nearby Solano County, California became the first person in the United States to have contracted the virus through unknown community contact. The Arizona Republic made the same move about a week later after a person was diagnosed with COVID-19 in the state.

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For accurate and reliable information about the coronavirus COVID-19, click or tap here to visit the World Health Organization’s website.

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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).