From yesterday's Radio-info newsletter
John Malone’s Liberty Media – a major owner and creditor of Sirius XM – is eyeing WorldSpace satellite radio.
Sirius XM and WorldSpace are worlds apart, literally – but they’ve both been in financial jams that attracted the attention of crafty media tycoon John Malone. Earlier this year he bailed out Mel Karmazin at Sirius XM and bought himself a chunk of the company and its spectrum (spectrum being something that interests him greatly). That was worth $530 million. Now Malone’s interested in the spectrum of non-U.S. satcaster WorldSpace, which has struggled for years and is in a very unhealthy Chapter 11. RapidTVNews reports that Malone’s Liberty Media stands ready to provide debtor-in-possession financing in what its court filing calls “a potential bridge to a strategic transaction.” What does Malone want with the satellite company in search of a business model, founded years ago by Noah Samara? It probably comes down again to spectrum, and the right to broadcast a subscription-radio service to many parts of the world. The original XM Satellite Radio technology was based partly on WorldSpace, and XM’s Hugh Panero took a position in it to help Samara. Now – WorldSpace can’t even afford to pay its own bankruptcy advisors.
Bold added for emphasis