New NHK to keep ‘viewer fees’ until 2011 -
NHK to keep ‘viewer fees’ until 2011
Japan’s public broadcaster NHK says it won't reduce viewer fees for its terrestrial broadcasting until the termination of analogue terrestrial broadcasting in 2011.
NHK said it decided on the policy to avoid possible losses caused by cost increases for the complete digitalization of its broadcasts. The decision is expected to be approved by its management committee. The broadcaster will also streamline its management over five years by reducing its 17 affiliated companies to around 12.
NHK has decided to allocate 115.5 billion yen over three years until fiscal 2011 to cover the costs associated with the digitalization of terrestrial broadcasting, which is expected to be completed by July 2011. However, the cost to expand its coverage areas unexpectedly increased, requiring an additional 66 billion yen. Another reason behind the decision not to lower current viewer fees is an expected deficit in fiscal 2009 and 2010.
Some management committee members have been urging NHK to trim viewer fees by around 10% during 2012.
The management committee and NHK's executives say they are making final adjustments to include the proposal in management plans for fiscal 2009 to 2011, which was due to be approved Oct 7.