Fiat and WorldSpace sign distribution agreement
Thursday, July 19th, 2007
Fiat Group Automobiles has signed a marketing agreement with WorldSpace, under which the company will become the first automobile manufacturer to install and distribute WorldSpace satellite radios in Italy. WorldSpace expects that, beginning in late 2008, it will begin broadcasting throughout Italy through 40-50 channels of commercial-free music, news, entertainment and sports programming, 24 hours a day.
WorldSpace’s programming will include an innovative, unique channel exclusively dedicated to Fiat Group Automobiles, its dealers and customers. For the first time ever, an automobile manufacturer will have a radio channel through which it will offer both promotional and customer-assistance services.
Beginning in late 2009, Fiat Group Automobiles will introduce WorldSpace satellite radios as factory-installed (OEM) optional equipment on certain of its Fiat, Alfa Romeo and Lancia models. In addition, Fiat Group Automobiles will be able to offer WorldSpace portable satellite radio receivers to its customers through its aftermarket channel.
In May 2006, WorldSpace Italia received approval from the Italian Ministry of Communications to launch a subscription-based satellite radio service in Italy, utilizing 12.5 MHz of the L-band frequency spectrum, the only frequency band harmonized for satellite radio over Europe. In January 2007, WorldSpace signed an agreement with Telecom Italia to design and deploy a terrestrial repeater network throughout Italy. This past Spring, WorldSpace signed a contract with Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits (IIS), part of Fraunhofer Gesellschaft, to develop a receiver reference design (or engineering blueprint) for the European market which is already in development and undergoing testing.
WorldSpace’s European strategy is to roll out its service on a sequential, country-by-country basis. In addition to Italy, the Company’s target markets include France, Germany, Spain, the UK, Turkey and Poland.
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