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Cable subs soaring in Japan

World Brief

Cable subs topped a record 15 million in Japan by the end of March, one-third of Japanese TV homes.

That’s up 16.5% over last year, according to the Ministry of Public Management, Home Affairs, Posts and Telecommunications.

It has taken the local cable industry 20 years to become established, but the recent rapid increase is due to the Internet access and telephony services offered by more cable operators.

The cable industry is also taking advantage of consumer reluctance to buy expensive digital HDTV receivers for the 30-month-old satellite digital programs, by offering retransmission via cable, often in analog, for a small extra fee of $10 to $20 a month.

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