Sky Perfect nets gains against rival

Plat One's lack of experience paves difficult road

TOKYO — With the launch of another wave of digital satellite operations still almost a year away, Sky Perfect is gaining ground against rival Plat One, having attracted 11 out of 18 new programmers onboard its service.

Sky Perfect, with its five years of experience as Japan’s first digital satellite platform and 2.6 million subs, already has signed up 11 key broadcasters for the upcoming “next generation” satellite operation. These include program services owned by four of the five commercial terrestrial networks, leading MSO Jupiter Telecom and Imagica, the country’s biggest post-production house.

Plat One, backed by the fifth commercial web Nippon TV, satcaster Wowow, telco giant NTT and the Mitsubishi trading house, faces an uphill battle in gaining programming clients for its new service, mainly because of its lack of experience in this field.

Indeed, Plat One will have to start from scratch, with a goal of hitting 3 million subs by the year 2010 and attracting sports programming such as Yomiuri Giants pro baseball games.