WorldSpace has confirmed rumours that it will terminate its radio broadcast services to all Indian subscribers from 31 December 2009. In a statement, WorldSpace Inc, the parent company of WorldSpace India, said,”On December 31, 2009, the WorldSpace satellite radio broadcast service will be terminated for all customers serviced from India.” While this termination is well before the end of its prepaid subscriptions, many subscribers are upset over the fact that they will not receive the service, rather the money that they stand to lose.
In the note posted on its website, the company has said that the main reason for the termination was that the potential buyer of much of WorldSpace’s global assets has decided not to buy the WorldSpace assets relating to - and supporting - its subscription business in India.
When the service was launched in India, the annual subscription offered was around Rs1,800 in 2005. The satellite radio network has around 170,000 subscribers in over 130 countries including India. Moreover, over 95% of the subscribers to the service are from India.
On the refund involved in the services which would be terminated well before the subscription expiry date, WorldSpace stated, “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.”
According to reports, US-based Liberty Media has already bought out WorldSpace’s liabilities from its creditors. Liberty Media holds a 40% stake in Sirius XM Radio, and reports quote chief executives of both the companies as saying that there is a possibility of a joint Sirius XM/Liberty Media global satellite radio venture between the two.