×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Japan: Internet head looks to shake up the broadcast biz

TOKYO — The Mip TV market will open just as an upstart new-media maverick intensifies his push into the old-media order.

Takafumi Horie’s cash-rich Internet service portal Livedoor is prepping a ¥300 billion ($2.9 billion) leveraged buyout of Japanese commercial giant Fuji TV.

Horie’s move comes hot on the heels of Livedoor’s acquisition of a 50% stake in Fuji’s much smaller affiliate, Nippon Broadcasting System. As NBS is Fuji’s biggest shareholder, this already gives him a major say in the TV net’s operation.

Horie’s offensive signals a big change for Japan’s staid TV biz.

Recent liberalization of Japanese law has made it possible for companies outside the traditional broadcasting biz, particularly Netcos, to get involved in hybrid media services.

The stated aim of Livedoor’s flamboyant chief is the transformation of broadcasting into an Internet operation. With broadband delivery of content becoming more common in Japan, his vision doesn’t seem farfetched. But current brass at the networks doesn’t subscribe to it.

The commercial broadcasters have responded by circling their wagons. The Commercial Broadcasters Assn., under the leadership of Hisashi Hieda, Fuji TV’s chair, is looking at industrywide measures that would foil hostile bids such as Livedoor’s.

And it isn’t just the island’s commercial broadcasters looking in the mirror. Accounting issues at pubcaster NHK led to a revolt by viewers, who withheld their license fees, and the resignation of prexy Katsuji Ebisawa in January.

Popular on Variety

More TV

  • Courtney Kemp Agboh'Power' TV show final

    'Power' Creator Courtney A. Kemp On Why Starz Series Hasn't Gotten Awards Recognition

    “Power” is a top ratings performer for Starz and has a hugely committed fanbase, but the series has lacked in its awards recognition. Other than honors from the NAACP Image Awards, “Power” has not received any awards or nominations from the Emmys, Golden Globes or SAG — something that star and executive producer Curtis “50 [...]

  • Breaking Bad Movie

    'Breaking Bad' Movie: Watch the First Teaser for 'El Camino'

    In case you hadn’t heard, Emmy-winning drama “Breaking Bad” is cooking up a movie sequel. On Saturday, after details of Netflix’s project quietly leaked online, the streaming giant issued the first teaser for “El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie,” which will be released on October 11. Starring Aaron Paul as Jesse Pinkman, the “Breaking Bad” [...]

  • Breaking Bad

    'Breaking Bad' Movie Release Date, Title and Plot Revealed

    The “Breaking Bad” movie is coming to Netflix sooner than you might think. The film, titled “El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie,” is now set to be released on Netflix on Oct. 11, according to a report from the New York Times, with Aaron Paul returning as the series’ popular meth cook Jesse Pinkman. Jesse [...]

  • Laurence FishburneNational Memorial Day Concert Dress

    Laurence Fishburne to Produce 'Marvel's Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur' Series for Disney Channel

    Laurence Fishburne is stepping into the animation game. The “Matrix” star is set to executive produce “Marvel’s Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur,” an animated series which has been given the greenlight at Disney Channel. Based on Marvel’s comic book series, the show hails from from Disney Television Animation and follows the adventures of 13-year-old super-genius [...]

  • Aracne

    Chile’s Sanfic, Mexico’s Morbido Fest Pact to Promote Latino Horror (EXCLUSIVE)

    Mexican horror festival Morbido and Chile’s Santiago Intl. Film Festival (Sanfic) have agreed on a long-term collaboration intended to strengthen the genre film industry in Chile and across Latin America. This partnership will see Morbido representatives attend the Sanfic industry section each year to aid in the promotion of horror projects and advise those projects [...]

  • 'The Simpsons' Producers on Disney, Spinoffs

    'The Simpsons' Producers Talk Potential Disney Spinoffs, Confirm Apu Will Remain

    “The Simpsons” has never shied away from lampooning Disney over the years, but maybe that’s no longer the case. Homer, Marge and co. are of course now part of the Disney family and made their first appearance at the Mouse House’s D23 Expo convention, where the show’s producers were asked plenty of questions about what [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content