TV Tokyo expands reach

Network sets plan in time for analog switch

TV Tokyo, the smallest of Japan’s five webs, plans to expand its reach into Miyagi, Shizuoka, Kyoto and Hiroshima by the time Japan completes the switch from analog to digital broadcasting in 2011, TV Tokyo prexy Sadahiko Sugaya announced at a press conference Thursday.

The web currently has six stations, including ones in Tokyo, Osaka, Aichi and Hokkaido that reach viewers in 13 of Japan’s 47 prefectures. Sugaya said the web is still studying whether to build a new station in Shizuoka — a prefecture near the Tokyo metro area whose best known landmark is Mt. Fuji — or expand the range of its Aichi station to reach Shizuoka viewers.

It is planning to build stations in Hiroshima and Miyagi prefectures, while moving its Osaka broadcasting tower to reach nearby Kyoto and Kobe. The cost of building new stations will be in the Y3 billion to Y5 billion ($24.7 million to $41.3 million) range, which TV Tokyo will raise from its parent company, Nihon Keizai Shimbun, and regional corporate investors. The web will also apply to the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications for licenses for the new stations.

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