NRI Papers
No.103 April 1, 2006
  Pandora's Box Shaking Up the Broadcasting Industry  
Tomota TERADA and Tomoyoshi KUZUSHIMA
      The year 2005 experienced a shakeup that hit the broadcasting industry, which is also known as Japan's last remaining industry under the "convoy system." This blow was only a precursor of major industrial changes to come.
      Scandals involving NHK have caused the broadcaster to suffer a severe loss of trust among the people, and disclosed various sorts of ambiguities that constituted NHK. Now, a clear answer is called for: what is the position of NHK and what is the role of public broadcasting?
      The future of the satellite broadcasting industry that was quick to embark on a shift to a digital format is unclear. The continued achievement of profits will require drastic measures including reorganization of the broadcasting industry.
      While the current terrestrial analog TV broadcasting is slated to cease in July 2011, the feasibility of such cessation is questionable. To carry this out as scheduled, either the government must support the promotion of terrestrial digital TV receivers in some form or a thorough review of the universal service aspect of terrestrial broadcasting must take place.
      Various broadcasting infrastructures for mobile devices including "One-Seg" are now emerging. However, the winner has not yet been determined.
      The VOD (video on demand) market has finally taken off. However, a path towards generating profits is still far away, and the situation requires adequate strength and innovative ideas.
      Under such an intensely changing environment, using the special characteristics inherent in broadcasting as an excuse and taking no measures for change will cause the entire industry to decline. The broadcasting industry should facilitate efficient business operations and promote investments to develop new businesses.
Contents
I Changes in Japan's Last "Convoy System" Industry
II Clarifying the Role of NHK and Public Broadcasting
III Reorganizing the Satellite Broadcasting Industry
IV Abolishment of Analog Broadcasting
V Start of Broadcasting for Mobile Device
VI The Launching of the VOD Service Market
VII Predicting the Future from the History of Industrial Development and the Media

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