French pay radio acquires Worldspace assets

Onde Numérique, a French pay radio operation founded by former Worldspace executive Franz Cantarano has acquired some of the liquidated assets of the Worldspace organisation.

The company has picked up a number of regulatory, technological and marketing assets in a move that received the endorsement of the bankruptcy Court in Toulouse, France. It follows the January 2009 liquidation of Worldspace France and Worldspace Europe. The assets include the L-band MusicaA filing (1467-1492 MHz), filed by the French Administration in 2006 with the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), at the 21 degrees East orbital location.

Onde Numérique is developing a bouquet of 50 commercial free channels tailored for France. It has signed an agreement with conditional access company Viaccess to develop a security system for the subscription service that will target both the home and in-car market.

“The development of a conditional access system tailored to our specific digital radio service requirements is a significant step for Onde Numérique, said Cantarano, who spent three years at Worldspace as VP Strategy & External Affairs following stints at Thales Alenia Space, ESA and CNES.

Onde Numérique, currently engaged in a fundraising effort, and plans to launch its pay radio services throughout France in Q4 2011.

Worldspace filed for bankruptcy in October 2008. The bulk of its assets were acquired in June 2010 by Yazmi USA, a company backed by Worldspace founder Noah Samara.