NBC Universal launches channel in spring

TOKYO — NBC Universal has appointed Shigeo Yushita to head its pay TV ops in Japan, the company announced on Monday.

With the official title channel director, Japan, Global Networks Asia, Yushita will develop strategies for launching, growing and marketing cable and satellite strands in Japan for NBC Universal.

His first order of business will be the launch of Sci Fi Channel in the spring. The launch, NBC Universal’s first of its own branded channel in Japan, follows on its acquisition of Jupiter Telecommunications subsidiary JSBC2, announced on Nov. 8. NBC Universal will use JSBC2, which currently holds the license for Reality TV on the SkyperfecTV platform, to beam Sci Fi Channel as well.

Yushita’s previous post was general manager of programming for Discovery Japan, where he was in charge of programming for the local Discovery, Animal Planet and Discovery HD strands. Before joining Discovery, he was manager of international business development for Sony Pictures Entertainment (Japan), where he launched the Animax toon channel internationally.

Yushita will report to Raymund Miranda, the managing director of Global Networks Asia, and to Taichi Fukuda, the managing director of NBC Universal International in Japan. Commented Miranda: “Japan is one of the markets that we’ve identified as key to our international roll out strategy and we’re pleased to have someone of Shigeo’s caliber to lead our efforts in establishing a business for the Japanese audience.”

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