Over 50 billion to be spent on transmission, prod'n facilities

TOKYO — Japan’s five leading commercial broadcasters, all based in Tokyo, are counting the high price of the switch to terrestrial digital broadcasting.

Fuji Television Network (Fuji TV), Nippon Television Network (NTV), Tokyo Broadcasting System (TBS), Asahi National Broadcasting (TV Asahi) and Television Tokyo Channel 12 (TV Tokyo) will invest more than 50 billion yen ($416.66 million) on transmission and production facilities.

TBS will lay out $116.66 million over four years, while TV Tokyo beats the lot with a cool $135 million in investment.

Terrestrial digital broadcasting is set to start in the cities of Tokyo, Nagoya and Osaka by the end of 2003 and in other areas by 2006, before analog is switched off in 2011.

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