Bangalore, Dec 24:WorldSpace satellite radio broadcast service will be terminated for all customers serviced from India from December 31, 2009. This was announced on the website of WorldSpace Inc USA, the parent company of WorldSpace India.
This means that from January 1, 2010 all 4.50 lakh subscribers of WorldSpace satellite radio in India will stop getting their favourite music and news radio channels, nearly 40 of them all together. India was the largest operation for WorldSpace, accounting for 95 per cent of its global subscriber base.
Though WorldSpace Inc had filed for bankruptcy in the US in October 2008, its Indian operation continued till now. Speaking to Deccan Herald a spokesperson of WorldSpace India, whose India headquarter is in Bangalore, expressed surprise to the news of closure of Indian operation. He said “till Wednesday we had no clue of the closure and even now we have no official communication except for the announcement on the website.” About 300 families in India depend on WorldSpace for their livelihood, nearly 100 of them are permanent employees. Though employees got their salaries till November, they are uncertain if December salary and all other annual benefits will come through.
“This action is an outgrowth of the financial difficulties facing WorldSpace India’s parent company, WorldSpace, Inc., which has been under bankruptcy protection since October 2008” said the announcement on the US website of the company. WorldSpace is present in over 130 countries globally, and has already been in the process of closing down its operations in most other countries. It was trying to sell its global business to Liberty Media, another US based company, but the deal fell through.
Indian subscribers, many of them have subscribed for one and two years are unlikely to get any refund for the remaining months. As the announcement says “Your subscription contract is with WorldSpace, Inc., a US company that is in a bankruptcy proceeding in the United States. The company recognises that you may have paid for services to be rendered beyond the termination date, but is not in a position to offer a refund for any unused portion of your subscription.”
The company, however, said that a subscriber may have a potential remedy under the US bankruptcy law under the claims procedure. For details one can check the website www.worldspace.com