Japanese satellite and cable broadcaster Wowow reported a 73% decrease in profit to $12m (Y1.32bn) in the first half of 2000, on turnover down 6.5% to $273m (Y30.02bn). Operating profit fell 79% to $9m (Y988m).

Wowow officials attributed the disappointing results to slow growth in subscriptions and the high costs of launching a new service on digital broadcast satellite, including plant and equipment investment and advertising and promotional costs.

For the 2000 financial year, which ends in March, Wowow is projecting sales of $545.5m (Y60bn) and a current account loss of $29.1m (Y3.2bn), marking the first time the broadcaster has gone into the red since the 1994 fiscal year.

At the end of September, Wowow had 2,544,791 subscribers, or 0.4% more than the same period the previous year. A broadcaster of films and other entertainment programming on cable and satellite since 1991, Wowow launched a new service on digital BS on December 1 that supplies one channel of HDTV or three channels of SDTV programming, depending on the time slot.