Japanese TV networks embracing synchronised streaming

Waking up to the need of an OTT offering, five Japanese networks — Nippon Television Network Corp, TV Asahi Corp, Tokyo Broadcasting System Television Inc, TV Tokyo Corp and Fuji Television Network Inc — are teaming up with TVer, a Japanese OTT provider, to simultaneously stream their evening news programmes for five weekdays in January 2020.

This initial trial-over-the-air will cover Tokyo and six other locations in the Kanto region of Japan. The online broadcast is expected to eventually provide coverage to the whole country.

Japan Today newspaper has revealed that the Japanese broadcasters were reluctant to adopt online streaming due to concerns surrounding costs, copyrights and relationship with other stations; hence, the broadcasters are using new stories for the trial as there is less controversy over copyrights.

Moreover, falling TV viewership among youngsters is prompting TV networks to review and re-strategise their traditional content distribution model.

In consideration of affecting private networks, NHK’s simultaneous streaming was limited to disaster and live sports coverage in the past. After Japan revised this rule in May this year, NHK is now set to launch a regular simultaneous streaming service in March 2020, ahead of the Tokyo Olympic Games 2020.

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