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TV-JAPAN to launch NHK International TV broadcasting; unscrambles new 5-hour window to broader audience.

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--TV-JAPAN will launch a special five-hour block of Japanese news, feature, and business programs transmitted to the U.S. the same day from Tokyo by NHK, Japan's largest broadcaster.

Called "NHK INTERNATIONAL TV BROADCASTING," the programming will start on April 2 and be distributed by NHK simultaneously via satellite to Europe and Asia. TV-JAPAN was selected by NHK to distribute this special programming throughout the U.S. on the TV-JAPAN premium television channel, which is available to subscribers of the PRIMESTAR Direct Broadcast Satellite (DBS) service and affiliate cable television systems.

As a result of a recent change in Japanese broadcast regulations, NHK is now permitted to distribute its programs directly around the world by satellite to satisfy the increasing demand for news and for information on the very latest developments in the rapidly growing Asian economy.

To comply further with Japanese regulations and to reach the broadest possible U.S. audience, the NHK program block will be distributed to PRIMESTAR subscribers and select cable TV systems on an interruption-free, unscrambled basis. Isao Kawasaki, president and CEO of TV-JAPAN, commented that "approximately 350,000 PRIMESTAR subscribers and nearly 1,000,000 cable TV subscribers will be able to view up to five hours of NHK International TV Broadcasting. Time Warner Cable of New York, for example, will distribute the NHK evening news to its 295,000 Manhattan subscribers." The NHK broadcast includes such programs as "TODAY'S JAPAN", "ASIA NOW" and "CHINA NOW", which will not only provide comprehensive analysis of current issues in those regions but also supply the U.S. audience with a "true window" on the novelty and energy of these major international markets.

Many of these programs are available with an English language audio so as to improve service to the greater market of American TV viewers. Kawasaki also expressed his view that "the unscrambled NHK program distribution is expected to make a significant increase in subscriptions to the full TV-JAPAN premium service. This service gives viewers an additional 17 hours of daily news specials, sports, drama, music, children's programming and the widely popular bi-monthly sumo tournaments."

TV-JAPAN has attracted approximately 25,000 pay-TV subscribers and has been available in 100,000 hotel rooms since its launch in 1991. In 1994, TV-JAPAN became the world's first digital direct-to-home television network through its affiliation with the PRIMESTAR DBS service.

TV-JAPAN is a service of New York City based Japan Network Group Inc., which is a joint venture of the NHK Group, Itochu International Inc., Japan Airlines, and several other major Japanese and American corporations, including Capital Cities/ABC Inc. -0-

 TV-JAPAN un-scrambled programs (EST)

 7:00 - 8:00 a.m. NHK Evening News at 7:00 p.m. (Bilingual)
 8:00 - 8:30 a.m. Today's Close-Up
 8:30 - 9:00 a.m. NHK Evening News at 9:00 p.m. (Bilingual)

 3:00 - 3:20 p.m. NHK Evening News at 9:00 p.m. (Repeat - Bilingual)
 3:20 - 3:50 p.m. Today's Close-Up (Repeat)
 3:50 - 4:15 p.m. Today's Japan (Bilingual)
 4:15 - 4:20 p.m. Mini-Program

 7:00 - 7:30 p.m. News: Good Morning Japan
 7:30 - 7:45 p.m. NHK Business Line (Bilingual)
 7:45 - 8:08 p.m. Evening Network - News Across Japan

10:30 - 11:00 p.m. News: Good Morning Japan (Repeat)
11:00 - 11:20 p.m. News at Noon (Live)

 1:30 - 2:00 a.m. News: Good Morning Japan (Repeat)
 2:00 - 2:20 a.m. News at Noon (Repeat)(No airing on Fridays)

 7:00 - 7:30 a.m. NHK Evening News at 7:00 p.m. (Bilingual)

 3:00 - 3:27 p.m. NHK Evening News at 7:00 p.m. (Repeat-Bilingual)
 3:27 - 3:57 p.m. Asia Now (Bilingual)
 3:57 - 4:20 p.m. China Now (Bilingual Chinese/Japanese)

 7:00 - 7:40 p.m. News: Good Morning Japan

11:00 - 11:15 p.m. News at Noon (Live)

 1:30 - 2:00 a.m. News: Good Morning Japan (Repeat)
 2:00 - 2:27 a.m. News at Noon (Repeat)

 7:00 - 7:20 a.m. NHK Evening News at 7:00 p.m. (Bilingual)

 3:00 - 3:20 p.m. NHK Evening News at 7:00 p.m. (Repeat-Bilingual)
 3:20 - 3:50 p.m. Who's Who in Asia

 7:00 - 7:30 p.m. News: Good Morning Japan
11:00 - 11:20 p.m. News at Noon (Live)
 1:30 - 2:10 a.m. News: Good Morning Japan (Repeat)
 2:00 - 2:27 a.m. News at Noon (Repeat)

CONTACT: Japan Network Group Inc., New York

Megan Devir, 212/713-8417

Etusukazu Taniguchi, 212/713-8409
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Copyright 1995, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Mar 31, 1995
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