Shows from Japanese pubcaster go online

TOKYO — NHK Enterprises, a subsid of pubcaster NHK that sells and acquires programming, is partnering with YouTube Japan to offer NHK programs on the site free of charge.

The programs on offer include popular NHK dramas and educational shows.

The service, called NHK Program Collection, launched on Monday with 200 uncut shows, as well as 30 three-minute edited highlights from programs, with new content to be added regularly. It can only be viewed on PCs in Japan, though it may expand to cell phones as well.

YouTube plans to boost ad revenue with the new offerings, while NHK Enterprises hope to raise the profile of NHK programming with YouTube’s young target aud, while removing a motivation for illegal uploads.

Hit by losses due to viewers not paying the mandatory receiving fees — the number of license fee dodgers has been estimated at one million or more — as well as the cost of making the switchover from analog to digital in July 2011, NHK has been trying to diversify its revenue streams, with the Internet a particular focus. The pubcaster already has a PPV service, NHK On Demand, as well as providing its programming through other streaming services.

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