In an unusual arrangement for the Japanese market, Netflix will underwrite a specified portion of the production costs, in exchange for exclusive streaming rights for a set period, according to Japan’s Nikkei newspaper. Meanwhile, Yoshimoto will retain the copyright, allowing it to sell the content elsewhere.
The first show produced by under the arrangement will reportedly feature Sanma Akashiya, a popular MC who has been a fixture on Japanese TV for decades.
Netflix is reportedly in talks with Japanese TV production houses, animation studios and other contents producers for similar deals.
Netflix is planning to launch a new video-streaming service in Japan this fall.
Partly in response, 29 Japanese content providers, including major TV networks and film studios, joined together to form the Japan Contents Group (JCG) consortium at the end of May. They aim to start their own pay-per-view service before the end of the year.