Sky Perfect Communications, which operates the Sky PerfecTV communications satellite (CS) platform, made a disappointing debut on the Tokyo Stock Exchange's MOTHERS market for venture firms on Friday.

On the first day of trading, October 20, Sky Perfect shares fell 20% from their pre-market price of $2.962 (Y320,000) to $2.083 (Y255,000) - the maximum allowed under market rules.

Investors were jittery about the company's inability to turn a profit in six years of operation and its $719m (Y77.7bn) in cumulative debut. Sky Perfect burned through billions of yen in its three-year battle to defeat its now defunct rival DirecTV, and hoped to raise $1.38bn (Y148.8bn) via its IPO.

Nonetheless, company officials hope that surging interest in satellite TV will put Sky Perfect into the black by the end of the next financial year, in March 2002.

Meanwhile, yet another alliance has been formed with the aim of challenging Sky PerfecTV's current monopoly. A consortium of five companies - Nippon Television Network, Wowow, Mitsubishi Corporation, NTT DoCoMo and NTT Communications - plan to launch a CS platform to compete with Sky PerfecTV. NTV and Wowow will provide the venture with broadcasting know-how, while Mitsubishi will be in charge of satellite uplinks and the two NTT group companies will manage customer services, including fee payment systems.