Kyocera also in on bid for Japanese channel

TOKYO — Japanese videogame maker Nintendo Co. and high tech ceramics maker Kyocera Corp. said Tuesday they have applied for a government license to start a satellite broadcasting channel.

The two Kyoto based companies said at a news conference they expect to obtain permission for the new broadcasting venture from the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications in the latter half of 1998.

Both firms are seeking a channel on the Japanese government’s digital broadcasting satellite, expected to go into operation in 2000.

Programming for the new venture would include cultural and entertainment works from the western Japan region as well as game information for Nintendo products. Other types of programming are also under consideration, they said in a statement.

The two companies said they do not expect any immediate benefit from the new satellite venture.

If they get approval for the license, Nintendo and Kyocera will invest 6 billion yen ($48 million) each in music broadcaster Satellite Digital Audio Broadcasting Co. to enter the business.

Nintendo and Kyocera said in a statement the satellite music broadcaster is essential because it “has the know-how for satellite broadcasting.”

Nintendo had previously sought to join Microsoft and a Nomura Securities Co. research institute to use the music broadcaster’s operations as a base for their own information network.

Microsoft and Nomura are not involved in the new deal, and the plan has been canceled.

Follow @Variety on Twitter for breaking news, reviews and more