PerfecTV falls short of subscriber target

TOKYO — PerfecTV, Japan’s only up-and-running direct digital satellite broadcasting service, failed to meet its goal of having 300,000 subscribers in its first six months of operation. The company said Monday that as of March 31, it has enrolled 236,000 subscribers.

PerfecTV said it expects to increase the number of subscribers to its service over the spring and summer as it roles out baseball packages for the Japanese pro league and the U.S. Major League product.

The company is owned by a consortium that includes some of Japan’s largest trading houses as its major backers, with companies such as Sony Corp. and Toyota Motor Corp. holding smaller shares.

PerfecTV began service in October with 60 channels and it has met or exceeded all of its subscriptions goals prior to the failure of reaching its six-month subscriber target. The company plans to go to a 100-channel format in the fall.

DirecTV is slated to begin full-scale service in Japan at the end of 1997 and Rupert Murdoch’s JSkyB is expected to follow as Japan’s third direct digital satellite broadcaster.

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