Friday, April 17, 2009

FIPB set to decide on WorldSpace web service via DX India - Alokesh Gupta

Nivedita Mookerji
Thursday, April 16, 2009 3:45 IST
New Delhi: The Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB), in the finance
ministry, will on Monday take up the proposal of satellite radio service
provider WorldSpace for providing web-based services.
The FIPB application assumes importance as radio firms, including
WorldSpace, have been keen to offer online radio service in India for long.
In fact, in 2007, in a tie-up with MSN India, WorldSpace had started
offering five music channels at a subscription fee, but had to halt the
service after a few months.
At that time, WorldSpace claimed that its online radio service was being
revamped. Now, the Indian subsidiary of the Washington DC-headquartered
satellite radio firm is seeking government approval to offer a full-blown
online service.
On the satellite platform, it offers 34 channels.
FIPB had for the first time taken up the WorldSpace application for a
web-based service on October 24, 2008, and then again on January 9, 2009.
Both times, the Board had deferred taking a decision on the issue.
At this point, WorldSpace India is awaiting a new satellite radio policy. So
far, there's only an FM radio policy, but satellite radio has been operating
in a no man's land as far as government legislation is concerned.
Also, while FDI ceilings exist across the media segments, there's none for
satellite radio. WorldSpace is the only satellite radio service provider
till now.
It is learnt that WorldSpace has sought a timeframe of five years from the
government for complying with the new rules, including that on FDI cap, once
the new licensing regime comes into force.
The government is likely to ask the company to adhere with the new rules
within three years, sources said. It is learnt that satellite radio would
have an FDI cap of 74%, which means that WorldSpace would have to divest 26%
in favour of Indian investor/s.
The Union Cabinet is expected to take up the satellite radio policy soon
after the new government takes office.

Alokesh Gupta
New Delhi, India


This group specialises exclusively on Broadcasting in India!              The latest schedules of All India Radio is available at:

Moderators: Jose Jacob & Alokesh Gupta
------------------------------------------------------------Yahoo! Groups Links

<*> To visit your group on the web, go to:

No comments: