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Japan satcaster bows HD channels

Company to complete digital transition by 2011

TOKYO — Japan’s biggest satcaster, Sky Perfect Jsat, will bow 62 HD channels by fall 2009, according to its mid-term plan for 2008-2012 released on Tuesday.

 The eventual goal is to operate 100 HD channels. Plan also calls for the start of a new broadcast satellite service in 2011 under revised Communications Ministry rules aimed at integrating broadcast satellite and Sky Perfect’s current e2 by Sky Perfect communications satellite service.

 The company also intends to complete the transition to digital by 2011, when analog broadcasts in Japan are skedded to end.

Sky Perfect had 3.46 million subs by May. By 2012, it plans to have 6 million subscribers to its three main services — Sky Perfectv!, e2 and Sky Perfectv! Hikari (optical fiber network).

By that year, the company aims to boost group consolidated earnings to 200 billion yen ($1.85 billion) and pretax profit to $278 million. In fiscal 2006, consolidated earnings amounted to $790 million.

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