Japan: NHK to cut TV licence fees by 4.5%

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A meeting of Japan public broadcaster NHK’s board has approved the lowering of its TV viewing licence fees.

The first stage reduction, of a 2 per cent cut next year, will not be seen by viewers because the Japanese government has increased its VAT consumption tax rises by 2 per cent from 8 per cent to 10 per cent. NHK’s target is to thus keep the licence fees constant in 2019.

However, for 2020 NHK will trim licences by 4.5 per cent, and meaning that the monthly viewing fee will fall by Yen59 to Y1260 a month ($11/mo), while the fee for also viewing satellite broadcasts will fall by Y102 to Y2230 ($19.59/mo).

“This is the largest possible price cut we can promise now,” NHK President Ryoichi Ueda told a news conference Tuesday, while Susumu Ishihara, chairman of the NHK board, described the 4.5 per cent cut as “drastic.”

The reductions come about in order to gain government approval to start simulcasting on-line NHK’s programmes including the planned coverage of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.  Japan’s government has to change the country’s broadcast regulations to allow for streaming.


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