NHK to cut satellite TV channels; 8K at risk

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Japanese publicly-funded broadcaster NHK has frequently been criticised for its number of TV channels as providing unfair competition to the country’s private stations. Now it is set to trim the number of satellite TV channels available.

NHK will cut two of its satellite channels, down from four. This means it will consolidate the current BS1, BS Premium and BS4K (BS stands for ‘Broadcast Satellite’) into one channel.

However, at risk according to reports in Japan, is the broadcaster’s high-profile 8K flagship channel. A decision as to the 8K channel will be made shortly. The announcements were made as part of NHK’s 3-year plan starting next year.

NHK is to slash spending on these channels from 720 billion Yen to 600 billion Yen (about $5.6 billion). Two existing AM national radio stations will also be consolidated into one.

NHK’s BS8K flagship channel was to be home to this year’s – now cancelled – Tokyo Olympic Games. NHK has additionally created dozens of high-profile dramas and episodic series for the 8K service including telecasts in 8K from beauty spots around the world, as well as cultural transmissions from the likes of the Bolshoi Ballet, London’s Covent Garden and visitor guides to important destinations.


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