Legal unhappiness over Worldspace sale

On Feb 25 the sale process for Worldspace’s assets was originally due to have been taking place at a Delaware bankruptcy court. A last-minute postponement pushes the Hearing Date back to March 6. Meanwhile, Worldspace filed a massive 192-page document that said – in effect – that its former European partner New Satellite Radio SrL, had made “unfounded and unconvincing” assertions that Worldspace was selling assets it was not entitled to sell.

The basis for NSR claims is that contracts and exchanges of letters between itself, and its partners (Worldspace Italia), and Worldspace formed agreements whereby NSR would use capacity on AfriStar to beam satellite radio services to Europe, and in particular Italy. The agreements amounted to an “indefeasible right of use” (IRU) to supply more than 40 channels of audio using the Northwest beam of Afristar.

“WorldSpace Italia was never granted an IRU or any other ownership right,” says the Feb 25 document. “At most WSI has an executory, contingent, contractual right of future use of the AfriStar satellite. WSI never acquired an IRU or any other ownership right in the AfriStar satellite broadcasting capacity.” The affidavit then goes on to list all the reasons why neither WSI or NSL had any reason to assume those alleged rights.

Rapid TV News is of the (non-legal) opinion that this action, like all else of the catastrophe that surrounds Worldspace, will no doubt run and run and provide guaranteed income for an army of lawyers for some considerable time yet.