Japan's Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications has said that 25 companies have applied for licences to broadcast on the next-generation N-SAT-110 communications satellite (CS), which launched from French New Guinea on October 7.

The ministry expects to receive about 30 to 40 applications in total and will announce the successful candidates in December. The satellite starts operating in the second half of next year. It will orbit in the same slot as the digital broadcast satellite that begins regular broadcasts on December 1, offering mostly free-to-air services including five new stations backed by Japan's private terrestrial networks.

Among companies that have applied for CS licences are:

  • Hollywood Movies, a movie channel backed by Sony Pictures Television, Itochu and Tohokushinsha.
  • CS Movies Broadcasting, a movie channel with investors including Imagica, Satellite Theatre and Toei Broadcasting.
  • FJ Entertainment, an animation and music channel backed by six companies, including Sony Music Entertainment, Animax Broadcast Japan and Itochu-owned music station Space Shower Network.
  • Satellite Service, a news and entertainment channel that will also provide TV shopping and other interactive services. Fuji TV leads the twelve-company consortium which also involves Sangyo Keizai Shimbun, Sumitomo Corp, Dentsu, NTT DoCoMo and Dai Nippon Printing.
  • InteractTV, which plans to offer online stock trading, internet shopping and other interactive services. Investors include Jupiter Telecom, Nihon Keizai Shimbun, TV Tokyo and Sony.
  • An unnamed channel providing entertainment programming and interactive services backed by the TBS network, Recruit, Mitsui and Dentsu.
  • An unnamed channel providing online shopping and other interactive services, backed by Nippon Television Network.