Satellite broadcaster WOWOW Inc. will start supplying programs to SKY PerfecTV on Dec. 1, the two companies said Wednesday.

The two major satellite broadcasters are facing growing competition from the surge in Web sites that offer free videos and music clips. Internet service provider Usen Corp.’s Gyao, which has free video programs and music among its services, had roughly 11.6 million registered users as of the end of September.

“We aim to expand the market for paid TV broadcasting through our tieup, and I believe that this is a big first step,” WOWOW President Toshio Hirose told a news conference. “We can now offer a variety of programs for paid TV broadcasting.”

Masao Nito, president of Sky Perfect Communications Inc., also told the same news conference that the tieup will accelerate development of paid TV broadcasting contents.

“Paid TV broadcasting has played an important role in program contents creation because their profits can be used to develop new contents,” Nito said.

Hirose said WOWOW, which is on channel 330 and charges 2,100 yen a month, aims to increase the number of subscribers by 50,000 by March. It had 2.3 million subscribers at the end of September.

Sky Perfect Communications is the first firm in Japan to provide communication satellite digital broadcasting services, with 4.1 million subscribers as of September.

Hirose and Nito said the two sides didn’t have plans to develop programs at the moment, but did not rule out the possibility that they might work together in that area in the future.

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