China on the WorldSpace horizon (updated).

Posted: 29 Nov 2007   Print   Send a link
Asked if WorldSpace is subject to regulatory hurdles in China, as it is in India, WorldSpace CEO Noah Samara says: "They don't allow foreign broadcasters to own equity in an entity that broadcasts in China, so we need to work out a revenue sharing arrangement with an entity that currently has licenses. We have our satellite that covers China and a partner on the ground, Chinasat. THR: And these countries also regulate content, right? Samara: China regulates content, India and most other places less so. In China, the content must be developed by Chinese entities." The Hollywood Reporter, 28 November 2007. Update: "Some stocks really are that bad. I don't know of any that are worse than Worldspace. Here's why: [Chart showing 176% loss in trailing 12 months, 183% loss in 2006, 117% loss in 2005, 172% loss in 2004.] That's right, Fool. Save for 2003, Worldspace has always spent more than $2 to produce $1 of revenue. ... Worldspace and its capital-incinerating management team ... Wednesday's worst stock in the CAPS world." Tim Beyers, Motley Fool, 29 November 2007. The two WorldSpace satellites remain unique and intriguing assets. If its satellite radio service for Italy (where it is building terrestrial repaters) draws customers, WorldSpace might see some much needed revenues. If not, could perhaps the business plan shift so that revenues are derived from broadcasters rather than listeners? The broadcasters would in turn distribute radios, perhaps on a subsidized basis, to their regional niche audiences. In such a scenario, the channels would probably be occupied by religious or political groups, as well as companies selling such things as gold, herbal medicines, etc.