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(Nikkei BP Group)

(No.1 High-Tech News Site in Japanese)

  • Softbank, Others Start Web Movie Distribution Company
  • January 29, 1999 (TOKYO) — Softbank Corp., Yahoo! Japan Inc. and Broadcast.com Inc. set up Broadcast.com Japan, a firm that will distribute motion pictures and streaming sound via the Internet.
    “Since integrated services digital network (ISDN) lines for home use are more widespread in Japan than they are in the United States, we think the service by the new company has a high potential,” said Masayoshi Son, president of Softbank.

    Of the 550 million yen (US$4.81 million) in capital, Softbank is providing 50 percent, Broadcast.com 40 percent and Yahoo Japan 10 percent. Son said the investors are searching for a president, but he will act as interim president.

    Broadcast.com was established in September 1995. It broadcasts contents on behalf of broadcasting stations and record companies on the Internet as well as live broadcasts sports games and concerts. It also provides corporate information such as settlements of accounts. Currently, the company distributes programs of approximately 400 radio stations and 40 TV/CATV stations, and contents of about 200 record companies through its Web site.

    The new Broadcast.com Japan will start a similar service from the fall of 1999. For content, it is seeking cooperation from a content-provider to SKY PerfecTV!. SKY PerfecTV! is run by Japan Digital Broadcasting Services Inc., a digital communications satellite broadcasting operator in which Softbank has a stake. The sales target is not yet known.

    Yahoo Japan will try to integrate its search service and the contents of the new company. Specifically, Yahoo’s sports page will have a link to live sports games streamed by the new company, and banner ads on Yahoo’s pages will be linked to animated contents prepared by the new company.

    More information in English is at: http://ww w.broadcast.com/about/press/japan.stm

    (BizTech News Dept.)

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