NHK to Halve Satellite TV Channels


Tokyo, Aug. 4 (Jiji Press)--Japan's public broadcaster NHK said Tuesday that it will reduce the number of its broadcasting satellite television channels from the current four to two.

The broadcaster, whose official name is Japan Broadcasting Corp., also plans to consolidate its two AM radio channels into one.

The channel consolidation, designed to alleviate criticism that NHK's operations are bloated, was included in the broadcaster's draft business plan for fiscal 2021 to fiscal 2023. NHK will finalize the plan in January 2021 after receiving public comments.

Separate from the business plan, NHK will consider creating a new viewing fee scheme by combining its two existing systems, in line with its efforts to reduce its business scale. The broadcaster plans to lower its viewing fees by 2.5 pct in October this year and then keep them unchanged for three years.

"How we will reduce our viewing fees without lowering the quality of our broadcasting services is a key management challenge for us," NHK President Terunobu Maeda said at a press conference, in light of NHK's launch of simultaneous broadcasting of its TV programs on the internet in April. He sounded positive on studying a new viewing fee scheme that reflects the online simulcast.

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Jiji Press