News radio stations eye Worldspace platform

MUMBAI: WorldSpace Radio, that already has Sahara's proposed news channel on board is now in talks with many Indian content partners.

While private FM in the country continues to battle government restrictions with respect to the coverage of news and current affairs, Worldspace channels which are not uplinked from India, and hence dont fall under Indian government guidelines, already has a clutch of international news broadcasters on its platform. While CNN, BBC and Bloomberg are already on the Worldspace platform, the company is ' in discussions with many Indian content partners to fill the overall content map for WorldSpace in Indian region'.

According to Worldspace India consumer audio business head Bharath Chari, "Sahara is a broadcasting partner who has leased capacity on the WorldSpace AsiaStar satellite, and broadcasters have complete control over their content, according to their content and business focus." Sahara, which had earlier announced grandiose plans of launching SaharaSwar, satellite radio on Mumbai's local trains, have leased capacity for the broadcast of four channels.

Worldspace, meanwhile, is focussed on consolidating its business in India, which it considers an important market, both for the short term and long term. Says Chari, "While our signals are of course available all over the country, we are approaching our acquisition market by market. On the audio front,we are also filling our content map, ensuring that each market gets not only the International offering, but also a linguistic and relevant content mix prior to entry. We are committed to bringing an outstanding audio experience to our customers.

On the data front, we are in focussed on key verticals where we have provide a sustainable advantage to customers who have a need for data dissemination, especially in hard to reach areas. The verticals we are currently pursuing include education, meteorological information for the fishing industry, and agriculture related information."

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