The service will launch on September 1 under the TBS On Demand banner. Established in November 2005, TBS' VoD service was one of the first in the territory. It offers contents both through PCs with broadband connections and 'TBS BooBo Box' set top box (STB) hardware.
The first theatrical release to be streamed through the service will be director Ryuichi Hiroki's ESP romance New Type: Just For Your Love. Subscribers will be able to view the film for $9 (Y1,000) from November 14, eight days ahead of the film's November 22 theatrical release. The film had its world premiere at last month's Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival.
The film is the fourth production under TBS satellite subsidiary BS-i and TC Entertainment's Cinema Drive label. Star Aya Oomasa has appeared in several TBS-produced dramas.
While there have been one-off sneak previews of new films via the internet and mobile phone, the service marks the first in Japan to offer regularly scheduled theatrical releases.
TBS On Demand will also offer dramas, live concerts and sports broadcasts from its satellite and terrestrial channels as well as original contents.TBS' current megahit Boys Over Flowers has remained in the top ten for nine weeks and has earned over $66m.