World Briefs

JAPAN

The History Channel will launch in Japan, its first appearance in Asia, in a joint venture with Super Network, owned by Tohokushinsha.

Carl Meyer, managing director Asia of the History Channel, and Yasutsugu Miyagawa, president of Super Network, jointly announced launch date as next January during a press conference Wednesday.

While the History Channel will be shown in China this summer as a program block by Sun Television Cyber Networks, the Japanese channel, all localized and dubbed in Japanese, will be Asia’s first full service for the History Channel. Following Japan, the History Channel will also launch its programs in India and Hong Kong in 2001, Meyer added.

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Japan’s 17th annual cable TV show, Cable 2000, opened at Tokyo’s Sun Shine City on June 14 with a three-day program, joined by 173 exhibitors from both hardware and software arenas, up almost 50% from last year.

The cable show this year sports the theme “Growing — Dream of Cable TV for New Millennium.”

Japan Cable TV Assn. expects the turnout of 60,000 visitors this year, up from last year’s 58,800.

INDIA

The Indian Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved Zee Telefilms proposed $1.5-billion American Depository Receipts issue.

Zee Telefilm’s proposed $1.5-billion ADR issue is the largest foreign float ever by an Indian firm.

The company has proposed an expansion program that includes production, Internet access, e-commerce, Internet portals, education, upgrading of cable network and installation of an optical fiber network across India.

The ADR is scheduled for later this year.

* * *

The Sterling group will invest $750 million in 14 regional language satellite channels in India.

The investment in these channels would compliment Sterling’s Internet service provider business Dishnet DSL.

Sterling plans to setup TV production studios in the state capitals of 20 Indian states. These would be set up to produce low-cost programs that eventually would become content for the Internet business.

Dishnet DSL has sought the Indian Finance Ministry’s approval for floating an ADR issue on the Nasdaq.

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