Wowow, a leading satellite broadcaster on satellite and cable TV which dedicates half its schedule to films, swung from profit to loss in 2000.

It announced a $27.6m Y3.34bn) group net loss and a $26.9 (Y3.26bn) consolidated pre-tax loss for fiscal 2000, which ended on March 31.

Company officials blamed the massive losses on several factors: a cut in analogue service subscription fees and the cost of launching Wowow's new digital service.

The analogue fees reduced sales by 2% compared with the previous fiscal year, to $510m (Y61.67bn), despite a 6% year-on rise in subscribers, to 2.65 million. Analogue subscribers increased 2.5% to 2.56 million, while digital subscribers numbered 86,451.

The company spent $18.2m (Y2.2bn) on hardware alone, in readiness for the digital launch - double the total for last year. Programming spend jumped $12.5m (Y1.5bn) to $217m (Y26.2bn).

For the current fiscal year, Wowow is forecasting a 6.2% gain in sales, to $541m (Y65.5bn) and reduced losses of $18.3m (Y2.21bn). Subscriptions are expected to rise to 2.8 million, with the analogue service accounting for 2.3 million and the digital, 500,000.