The Discovery Channel will launch a 15-hour-a-week programming service to Japan beginning April 1.

Discovery said last week that the service will go to more than 800,000 homes in Japan via the Eisei Channel, a news web operated by Satellite Channels Inc., which is associated with Asahi Newspaper and TV Asahi.

“We look at this as a great first step” toward taking the channel to Japan full-time, Discovery Communications senior veepee Domenick Fioravanti said.

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