WorldSpace radio is back


N S Ramnath, Forbes India
Jul 20, 2011 at 12:54pm IST

New Delhi: If you missed WorldSpace - satellite radio network that streamed pre-programmed music 24 hours a day through about 40 genre-specific stations - here’s some good news. In September, WorldSpace will be back.

You will have the same old stations that you grew to love - Hindustani music on Gandarv, Carnatic music on Shruti, old Hindi film songs on Farishta and so on - very likely anchored by the same RJs.

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In India, WorldSpace had gone on air in 2000 with the subscription-based service gaining a committed fan base slowly and steadily. Towards the end of 2010, when it shut down because of the financial difficulties of its founder, Ethiopia-born lawyer Noah Samara, it had 4.5 lakh customers in India.

WorldSpace radio is back

You will have the same old stations that you grew to love - but it's time to listen to the radio again.

Timbre Media, which is re-launching the brand in India in association with Saregama, was started by ex-employees of WorldSpace and has about 80 people from the old set up, says co-founder and CEO M. Sebastian. The re-launch will start with 40 stations and eventually have as many as 120 stations, including sub-categories such as music for cardio-workouts, says Adarsh Gupta, head (music), Saregama.

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Great news, but it comes with a catch: You can’t use your old WorldSpace equipment. The new WorldSpace will be streamed through mobile phones, the Internet and direct-to-home television networks.

But it’s time to listen to the radio again.

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