×

Nippon webs struggle with rights

Satellite channels may make contracts complicated

TOKYO — Japan’s TV market has undergone a fundamental change in the last year with the launch of digital satellite channels by the nation’s main webs in December. Adding to the mix this year, a new communications satellite takes to the air.

But despite these changes, the Japanese presence at Mip will bear a striking resemblance to past delegations.

The webs essentially have little need to purchase anything other than a few knickknacks to fill out their lineups.

Local stations care little for the reality programming boom because they have been in the business of producing their own reality shows for years and do not need foreign formats.

Pubcaster NHK, which already airs “ER” and “Ally McBeal” in regular weekly slots, will be the most active player in terms of acquisitions.

The new satellite channels from the webs will be looking for material in the high-definition TV format but they do not have anywhere near the money or the viewers of their big brother terrestrial stations.

The main problem in making sales to Japan will be working out broadcasting rights contracts. The sat channels are also broadcast on cable, so the contract for a single program might have to accommodate many platforms and windows.

Scores of companies have licenses for broadcasting on the new communications satellite that is set to bow this year. As few of these companies have rounded out their programming schedules, they might be looking to make some purchases at Mip.

Meanwhile, Japan’s largest direct-to-home platform, Sky PerfecTV, is gearing up for more competition and may be looking for some killer content that could give it an edge with viewers.

Popular on Variety

More Scene

  • Democratic presidential candidate Marianne Williamson waits

    Marianne Williamson Attends Project Angel Food Gala Honoring Jamie Lee Curtis

    Author, activist and Democratic presidential candidate Marianne Williamson has a personal connection to Project Angel Food — and not just because she founded the charity 30 years ago. At Saturday night’s anniversary gala at the organization’s Hollywood headquarters, she explained the link between the nonprofit and her daughter, India Emma: “I always know how old [...]

  • 71st Emmys Governors Ball

    Why the Television Academy Plans to Donate Furnishings From the 71st Emmys Governors Ball

    The Emmys’ official after party is set to impress — and to leave a permanent impression. At the annual press preview of the 71st Emmys Governors Ball, the Television Academy announced a partnership with Living Spaces, Habitat for Humanity and the Hollywood Community Housing Project that will provide more than 80 custom sofas, chairs and [...]

  • Gaby Hoffmann, Albert Cheng, Alexandra Billings,

    'Transparent' Team Reflects on Series Finale Without Jeffrey Tambor

    Friday night’s premiere of the series finale of “Transparent” at L.A. Live’s Regal theater felt like a family reunion for the Pfefferman clan. Matriarch Judith Light embraced each one of her TV children (Gaby Hoffman, Amy Landecker and Jay Duplass) and guest stars from previous seasons (Cherry Jones, Melora Hardin, Bradley Whitford) who also turned [...]

  • Game of Thrones Season 8

    'Game of Thrones,' 'Avengers' Win Big at 45th Annual Saturn Awards

    As Jamie Lee Curtis picked up her first trophy ever at the 45th Annual Saturn Awards Friday night, she had a good luck charm on her arm: former manager Chuck Binder, whom she said was the reason she became an actor. “I was in college and had no thought of being an actor,” Curtis told [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content