Yesterday we received an unexpected disturbing mail stating that WorldSpace services would be discontinued in India with effect from midnight of 31 December 2009. Though thoroughly disturbed we dismissed it as some kind of prankster mail as there was no other news of this development. However today's Times of India and Economic Times articles confirm this news.
This is really really sad. Our musical bonds with WorldSpace go back to 2001 when we got our first Hitachi receiver when posted in Assam. There was not much by way of entertainment and most of our squadron members had this on the top of their list of must-buy products on arriving there. The best part was that the service was free then. Our favourite channels are Spin, Gandharva, Surabhi, Up Country, Maestro and Holly (available only in the Christmas season).
Besides a total lack of advertisements, the best part is undoubtedly the huge variety on offer. We had music on at all times to suit every mood every taste 24X7. WorldSpace became an undemanding friend who stayed with us through three postings and through our move back into civil life! We will go back to our CDs or music via the Internet but life wont be the same...
One newspaper article mentioned that India had the biggest subscriber base for this company. We read of so many 'acquisitions' happening all around the globe particularly in these recession times. Surely surely there would be some one interested in taking over India operations of WorldSpace?? With thousands of customers ready to pay to listen to music and infrastructure in place is this an opportunity that must not missed? Anybody listening?