updated 4/1/2005 3:32:17 PM ET 2005-04-01T20:32:17

XM Satellite Radio Holdings Inc. said Friday that new subscriptions in the first quarter increased by 68 percent, lifted by the success of its new portable radio and coverage of Major League Baseball.

The satellite radio provider added more than 540,000 new subscribers in the quarter, up from last year's increase of 321,675 subscribers, for a total of nearly 3.8 million subscribers.

XM expects to have 5.5 million subscribers by the end of this year.

“This was the best first quarter in the history of XM,” said Hugh Panero, XM president and chief executive, in a statement. “Millions of consumers are choosing XM because of our outstanding programming, including unprecedented coverage of Major League Baseball and the most commercial-free music in satellite radio, as well as breakthrough products like the Delphi MyFi XM2go radio, the first portable, hand-held satellite radio.”

Competitor Sirius Satellite Radio Inc. last reported a subscriber base of more than 1.2 million in January and expects to have more than 2.5 million total subscribers by the end of the year.

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