NHK plans to reduce fees after it begins simultaneous online streaming of TV programs

Kyodo

The head of public broadcaster NHK said Friday it aims to lower its subscription fees, possibly from fiscal 2019, after a government panel set a requirement for the company to start simultaneous online streaming of its television programs.

The move, announced by NHK Chairman Ryoichi Ueda, would affect most people in Japan as national law requires people who install a TV receiver to sign a subscription contract with NHK, also known as Japan Broadcasting Corp.

In July a communications ministry panel gave the green light to NHK’s simulcasting service, while stipulating in its report that reviews of subscription fees and business operation as well as coordination with commercial broadcasters will be mandatory.

NHK intends to launch the new service in fiscal 2019.

The broadcaster is trying to position itself as a “public media” service, and retain viewers who are switching to unpaid or paid video streaming.