As January 1, 2010 dawned, subscribers of WorldSpace India woke up to a shock. Their favorite satellite radio service just became unavailable. In a short last minute email notice to its subscribers & employees, WorldSpace India conveyed that it would be unable to continue its operations in India.
Airtel DTH that offers WorldSpace services in India, will replace this with 10 radio channels of All India Radio(AIR).
WorldSpace renamed as “1WorldSpace” had filed for bankruptcy in October 2008. Yet, its Indian operation remained untouched. Liberty Media, a potential buyer decided to withdraw its plans of buying the bankrupt company and the only option left was to close its worldwide operations. WorldSpace has its presence in 130 countries worldwide and is already in the process of shutting down the units one by one. Interestingly, India has 4.50 lakh subscribers that translates into over 95% of its customer base.
One of the major factors for WorldSpace’s average performance was the growth of FM channels in metros all over India. People found it easier to tune in to an FM channel but the same was not possible with WorldSpace. Moreover, their deal with Airtel DTH did not fetch them good dividends either. So, it seemed like the fate of WorldSpace was sealed earlier.
But the bigger question from the subscribers end is “Will I get my money back??”. Most of the Indian subscribers who have subscribed for one or two years are unlikely to get their money refunded. Ideally, the company has to return the amount for the unused subscription. But this seems unlikely now. In an announcement made by WorldSpace, this message is conveyed loud & clear. So, all we can do now is wait for a miracle, either to make WorldSpace start its operations once again or atleast refund the money to its subscribers