PerfecTV eyes summer subs

TOKYO — Japan’s only up-and-running digital satellite broadcaster, PerfecTV, is planning to launch a subscription campaign during the summer payroll bonus season.

Company president Kouya Mita told Kyodo News the broadcaster is making the move to capitalize on its advantage of being the only direct satellite broadcaster offering service to consumers in Japan. Two other firms are expected to offer competing services within a year. DirecTV is slated to start full-scale service in late 1997, and Rupert Murdoch’s JSkyB has a spring 1998 launch date.

The PerfecTV enrollment campaign will run from July to September. Most Japanese companies offer payroll bonuses that are approximately equivalent to two months’ salary during summer bonus season.

PerfecTV is trying to up its monthly subscriptions from 30,000 to 50,000 in the campaign. It currently has about a quarter million subscribers out of 43 million households in Japan. The company also plans to go to a 100-channel platform by the time DirecTV begins service.

DirecTV Japan announced last week it had enrolled the support of publishing house Tokuma Shoten Co. Tokuma will acquire a 10% equity stake in the broadcaster.

The two firms also announced an alliance in which Tokuma would offer DirecTV Japan access to its library of animated features and classic Japanese movies.

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