Japanese network looks for additional revenue source online

TOKYO — Fuji TV, one of Japan’s five commercial networks, will offer its regular programming free on YouTube starting next week — a first for a Japanese net.

Fuji will begin with two hours daily of news, toons and entertainment programming. It will earn revenue from ads separate from those that run on its terrestrial strand.

Other broadcasters, including Fuji’s four network rivals and pubcaster NHK, are already using YouTube, but primarily as a promo tool for their terrestrial offerings. Fuji will be the first to regularly beam its regular shows uncut to YouTube users, including five toon titles, a show featuring the all-girl pop group Idoling!!! and various live broadcasts. Fuji is also producing original shows only for YouTube.

This is the latest effort by Japanese broadcasters to find alternative revenue streams as their core terrestrial biz continues to decline. Fuji’s YouTube venture will also make it easier for overseas viewers — a growing market — to access its programming.

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