DirecTV Japan to slash prices

Fees for 11 channels to drop by as much as 70%

TOKYO — Satellite broadcaster DirecTV Japan said Tuesday it will cut prices on 11 channels by as much as 75% from July in order to win over subscribers.

Five of the 11 channels are offered on rival service Sky PerfecTV. DirecTV has used lower prices to attract customers before. When it first hit the air in December 1997, it offered a basic package that was about 15% cheaper than the one from rival PerfecTV.

One channel that will face the price cut is the B.E.T. on Jazz channel, which will be cut from 1,85 yen ($13.40) a month to 700 yen ($5) a month under the plan.

The company is also planning to offer a special package of programming for the English speaking community in Japan.

DirecTV has 88 channels and it has enlisted about 110,000 subscribers since it started full scale service in December.

The company said it would not set any subscriber targets for Japan, but did say the platform would expand from the current 88 channels to 130 channels in the fall of this year.