Hollywood Movies, a movie channel backed by Sony, Itochu, Tohokushinsha and News Corp, is among the 18 broadcasters that have been awarded licences to broadcast from Japan's new communications satellite (CS), which is scheduled to start operating next autumn.

Japan's Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications (MPT) finalised the list of successful licensees from a total of 41 applicants, on December 18, when the Radio Regulatory Council, an MPT advisory body, met to accept the Ministry's recommendations. The MPT will officially issue the licences by the end of the month.

Among the applicants receiving CS broadcasting licences are five broadcasters backed by Japan's commercial networks and other corporate investors, four digital data broadcasters and four companies backed by current CS broadcasters, including Hollywood Movies.

Among the investors in these new services are satellite broadcaster Sky Perfect Communications, advertising agency Dentsu and retailers Itoyokado and Big Camera.

Universal Studios Networks secured a licence to broadcast two channels - Japanese-language versions of movie channel Studio Universal and suspense channel 13th Street - which will be operated and run by local players Hitachi, Asahi National Broadcasting, Toppan Printing and Asahi Shimbun.

The N-SAT-110 satellite will orbit in the same slot as the digital broadcast satellite that began regular broadcasts on December 1. Eight broadcasters are currently using the broadcast satellite including NHK, Wowow, 24-hour movie channel Star Channel and five stations backed by Japan's commercial networks.

Full list of licence winners (with names of major backers):

  • Interactive (backed by Jupiter Satellite Broadcasting, Nihon Keizai Shimbun, TV Tokyo and Sony)
  • C-TBS (TBS, Mitsu & Co, Recruit, Dentsu, BS-I)
  • CS Nippon (Nippon Television Network, Yomiuri Shimbun, Teikyo University, Itoyokado)
  • CS 110 (Hitachi, Asahi National Broadcasting, Toppan Printing, Asahi Shimbun)
  • Satellite Service (Fuji TV, Sankei Shimbun, Sumitomo Corp, Dentsu)
  • Active Sports Broadcasting (J Sky Sports, Satellite BC, Sports-i Network)
  • Multichannel Entertainment (Sky Perfect Communications, JSAT)
  • Hollywood Movies (Itochu, Sony Pictures Television Japan, Tohokushinsha, News Corporation Japan)
  • CS Eiga Hoso (Imagica, Satellite Theatre, Toei Satellite Broadcasting, Nikkatsu, Nihon Eiga Eisei Hoso, Family Theatre)
  • CS Project (Wowow)
  • Nihon Mediark (Jiji Press, Dream Net, Kyodo News, Dentsu)
  • Nihon BS Hoso (Big Camera, Matsushita, NTT DoCoMo, Victor Co. of Japan, Fuji Film, Ricoh, Toshiba)
  • Megaport Broadcasting (Mainichi Newspapers, Kadokawa Publishing, Sports Nippon, Dentsu)
  • E-Port Channel (Matsushita, Toshiba, Sony, Hitachi, Wowow)
  • Spaceteria (Mitsubishi, FM Tokyo)
  • Takarazuka Channel (Hankyu, Nippon Life, Sanwa Bank, Sumitomo Bank)
  • CS Now (Jareco, Techno Venture)
  • CS Kyushu (Iwasaki Industries, Yoshitaro Iwasaki, Okawa Furniture Center, Kagoshima TV, Directors Company)