Even before Fox could enter the India market through the direct-to-home (DTH) television platform, it’s here on satellite radio WorldSpace. Fox News, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation, is available in the country as a 24-hour channel on WorldSpace. But, WorldSpace sources said “it’s only a test run now”. A decision on commercial launch would be taken soon by the company headquarters in Washington DC, an official said. Interestingly, in India, satellite radio is often referred to as DTH radio.
In a recent announcement made from the US, WorldSpace Satellite Radio vice-president of global content William Sabatini had said that Fox News channel would be available to the international subscribers of WorldSpace. A household name in the US, Fox News on satellite radio is meant to cater to the American expats and military around the world. Fox News reaches 45 countries on cable and satellite TV.
For the Asia market, of which India forms a significant part, a global bouquet is being planned on WorldSpace, company sources indicated. Besides Fox News, the global package would include channels like National Public Radio (NPL) and Radio Caroline.
Currently, there are around 30 channels on the WorldSpace platform. Although in India, WorldSpace is the only satellite radio company, XM and Sirius are the two other international platforms in the US.
While Fox News has just been made available on the satellite radio platform, the Tata-Star joint venture is planning to launch its DTH service in the country around October-November. Fox is likely to be a part of the DTH bouquet. However, WorldSpace officials dismissed any link between the two.