In what looks to be the beginning of a long term project, Televisionpoint.com, India's number one media trade website is reporting that Sirius XM has expressed an interest in making a play for WorldSpace India. In an article citing an official communiqué to the Information and Broadcasting Ministry (India's version of the FCC),the article states:
Already, US-based Sirius XM Radio, the largest satellite radio player internationally, has evinced keen interest in making a foray into Indian satellite radio market. Sirius that has operations in North America, Canada and Alaska had acquired XM in July 2008.
The satellite radio networks will allow subscribers access to programmes relayed worldwide via fixed, portable or vehicular radio sets. Opening up satellite radio to new domestic and foreign players will widen choice of programmes already the subscribers have through AM & FM radio broadcast of All India Radio (NYSE:AIR).
India's I & B Ministry granted WorldSpace India 3 years rather than the 5 years it had sought to implement licensing changes.
At present, World Space provides 34 radio channels in India that include BBC World and London-based WRN news channels. The government foresees entry of topnotch foreign players into the virgin satellite radio services market once the licensing regime being considered by union cabinet is put in place.
Position: Long SIRI