BBC Japan Faces Closure
Wednesday, March 22, 2006 Posted: 12:16 AM JST
The BBC's Japanese entertainment channel faces closure within weeks after only 18 months since its start in Japan, BBC Worldwide's Managing Director of Global Channels Darren Childs announced this week.
BBC Worldwide has received notification from JMC, its distributor in Japan, that it no longer has the financial means to honor its contractual commitments to distribute the BBC Japan channel.
JMC has also told BBC Worldwide that the company’s shareholders, which include Dentsu, Jiji Press and Kyodo, will not be providing any further financial support. This decision results in JMC no longer being able to continue distribution of the channel after April 30, 2006 and BBC Japan will cease to be available.
When the channel launched in December 2004 it was hailed as a major move into Asia's most lucrative TV market. Programming features on the channel includes EastEnders, Cash in the Attic, Rescue Me and My Family.
"This decision has been taken without any consultation with BBC Worldwide" Childs said, "and is beyond the corporation’s control." BBC Worldwide is actively seeking alternative ways to continue to provide the service in Japan.
“We are extremely disappointed to be having to announce that, due to the apparent decision of the JMC shareholders to no longer support JMC, BBC Japan may have to end transmission. We are looking to replace the channel in the market as soon as possible, and hope to announce shortly how BBC Japan’s loyal customers will be able to receive the channel in the future. In the meantime, we extend our sincere apologies to subscribers of the channel who have been inconvenienced by the decision of JMC.”
Keywords: national_news arts_entertainment
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